March 18, 2018
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Bald eagle family delights observers

By Judy Kellogg Markowsky

HAMPDEN, Maine — Four bald eagles in one place, at Avalon! It was after sunset, and getting dark when I saw two bald eagles choosing a place to perch for the night. Ethel Frey came along. I showed them to her and suddenly two more eagles arrived.

The first two were adults, with their white heads and tails, and the others two young, all brown. I believe they were the young of the adult eagles.

They sat there, and Ethel and I sat there for a few minutes watching them in a thin white pine tree. Then the eagles flew away for a better tall dense white pine tree with thousands more needles. The light from the sun was gone, too.

I see eagles every other day at Avalon, but I am thrilled to see them each time. I’m sure they come past my window every day, but I don’t look every minute out my window — I go outside to find birds.

Later I met Beverly Bigelow at Avalon and we talked about the four eagles. She had gone to Alaska, and she wanted to see an eagle.

People told her “Look for a golf ball in the top of a Sitka spruce. That is your eagle.” And she found golf balls on top of a Sitka spruce there. They looked like golf balls; but every time she went looking with binoculars, the “golf ball” was the head of an eagle. Sitka spruce are 200 feet tall.

I’ve seen photos of 15 or 20 eagles in Alaska, in trees and on the ground, when the salmon come to the streams to lay their eggs. In Maine, I haven’t see that many; I am thrilled with four eagles.

In Maine, the food for eagles is 80 percent fish, and 20 percent water birds; I’ve seen an eagle go after an osprey with a fish in its talons, and the osprey dropped the fish. This eagle was fast enough to catch the fish in the air. I have seen an eagle catch a duck, and another time catch a coot.

I’d like to go to Alaska!

Join Fields Pond Audubon Center Director Matt Dubel. He will lead parents with children to find animal footprints, snowflakes and much more for the whole family, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 26. The cost is $8 for a member family, $10 for other families.

For information on Fields Pond Audubon Center, call 989-2591.

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