Jersey banded bird re-sighted in Maryland
by Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Coordinator
The Duke Farms eagle camera was put in place in 2008. Since then it has had quite a following of people interested in seeing the pair raise their young. After the young birds leave the nest it is unknown what happens to them. The mortality rate for first year eagles is fairly high since they are just learning how to fly and hunt on their own. So it was quite exciting when on December 1, 2013 Kevin Smith photographed a NJ banded bird at Conowingo Dam, Maryland. He was able to zoom in close enough to view the green band which read C96. This bird had been banded on May 18, 2009 at Duke Farms. He was the oldest of three males raised by the pair in 2009 while being watched by eagle cam viewers. Below is a photo of the three chicks in the nest following the banding. The largest bird on the right is C96. Now at 4 1/2 years old he is almost a mature adult but still has just a slight amount of brown in his tail feathers (photo on left).
Conowingo Dam is a popular spot for eagles this time of year due to the abundance of fish. Kevin noted that the eagles were catching smaller fish than usual and eating them on the fly. The photo below on the right shows C96 moving the fish from his talons to his bill. Kevin reports that he (C96) would then circle back around looking for more fish and got his share of food that day. It is good to know that C96 has survived and is healthy.
- The Duke Farms eagle cam is up and the pair is getting the nest ready for the 2014 nesting season.