Deerfield River Eagle
Last Wednesday (4/4) I had the pleasure of a canoe trip down the Deerfield below Shelburne Falls. Below Dam #2 we saw an immature Bald Eagle with some white feathers in the tail rise up ahead of us and proceed to climb up 800 to 1000 feet while moving downstream away from us. Enroute a Raven dive bombed it 4 or 5 times resulting in wingovers and talon display from the eagle. We lost sight of the eagle after this. A mile downstream a mature Bald Eagle took off from a tree and flew overhead at tree top level headed upstream. In about another mile there was perhaps the same immature eagle perched in a tree. Wondering if the climbing behavior was an effort to keep clear of a territorial adult.
Hurricane Irene did an amazing job scouring the Deerfield. Below Dam #2 the debris was 15 to 25 feet above normal river levels. Despite that we encountered an occasional hatch of flies, a fisherman who was not complaining too hard and the eagles.
Last week, for the very first time, I had a Bald Eagle fly across my yard--past my window--and into a tree at the edge of the woods! I then saw him/her briefly in a tree--white head and all--until our resident crows arrived and complained loudly. Then he flew off into the woods. This was right in Wilmington near the Deerfield River. Eagles have been seen around Lake Whitingham, but never saw one here! Exciting! I am addicted to the Eagle Cam at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, so I was thrilled.
---Mary Ann McLeod, Wilmington
W. Brattleboro, VT