Bald Eagles of Mercer County
Welcome to the “Bald Eagles of Mercer County”, where we celebrate the all-American recovery of the bald eagle in Mercer County, New Jersey. Wiped out from the county just a few decades ago, Mercer County now holds four nesting pairs of bald eagles – including two pairs in Mercer County’s park system!
Bald Eagles are extremely sensitive to human disturbance. At no time should anyone approach nesting eagles. People who want to observe or photograph eagles and who come too close may actually cause the birds to abandon a nest.
For audio - please click the mute button on the lower right hand side of the player window.
Located in Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey, this cam sits atop a former bald eagle nest near Mercer Lake. While there is not currently a nesting pair here, numerous bald eagles have been using this nest as a roost and feeding perch. Other wildlife visits as well, including a brave raccoon seen sleeping in the nest just a few weeks ago! The cam also frequently captures eagles flying and roosting in the distance between the nest and the lake.
2023 Mercer County Eagle Updates
Update August 22, 2023
The eagle fledge from the Mercer Co nest found grounded on July 29th, was released on August 16th. She flew away beautifully. She was banded with a green NJ band H/41. Nest Monitor Kevin Buynie reports that on August 21st he saw H/41 perched next to an adult in the vicinity of the nest tree.
Update August 1st, 2023
The Mercer Meadows two chicks fledged on July 2nd.
The Mercer GC chick fledged at 10 weeks on July 22nd.
On July 29th the fledge was found on the golf course and brought to Mercer Wildlife Center. He was malnourised, dehydrated and not able to get enough height to fly. He will stay in the center for a few days to get healthy and will be released back to the nest area.
The Mercer Meadows nest has hatched April 5th and has two chicks.
Mercer GC nest-Incubation began April 8th, hatching May13th.
2022 Mercer County Eagle Updates
May 14th, 2022
Mercer Meadows-H/15 has fledged.
April 8th, 2022
Mercer Meadows- H15 is ten weeks old and branching.
April 26, 2022
H15 was returned to the nest today.
April 25, 2022
Mercer Meadows- The eaglet (H15) is now eight weeks old. On Saturday nest monitor, Karin Buynie was out at the nest and witnessed a three year old eagle at the nest tree harrassing H15.
The adults were not around which isn't uncommon once the chick gets older. The immature was most likely trying to get food and flew into the nest. There was some pushing and H15 fell out of the nest. Eaglets don't fly until they are about eleven to twelve weeks of age. Karin called her husband and fellow nest monitor Kevin Buynie. They found the eaglet on the ground below the nest tree. Kevin and Karin are experienced at capturing and handling eagles and got H15 into a carrier.
He was taken to Mercer County Wildlife Center, where he was examined by Veterinarian Dr. Miller. It was determined that H15 did not have any injuries and could be placed back in the nest. He'll be renested as soon as possible. It isn't often that a nest monitor witness's this type situation. It probably happens, but no one is there to see it. It is very lucky that the Buynie's were on site to take action and rescue H15.
Thank you to everyone involved.
April 11, 2022
The Mercer Meadows nest was visited by the banding team on April 8th, 2022. The nest monitors had seen two chicks in the nest, but there was only one left on April 8th. We don't know what happened to the second chick. The remaining chick was lowered to the ground in a bag to the team. Measurements and blood samples were taken. The chick was banded with a green NJ band H/15 on the right leg and a silver federal band on the left leg. The chick is now six weeks old.
April 3, 2022
Mercer Meadows- the two chicks are now five weeks of age and doing well.
Mercer Meadows GC- both adults are around the nest but not incubating. The nest monitors have noted that the male is new in the pair this year. We know this because in past years the male was a NJ banded bird. He had a green band D/47. He was banded in April 2012 at the Prospertown nest. With a new male in the pair it's not unusual that they aren't incubating this season, hopefully next year.
March 6th, 2022
There are two chicks in the Mercer Meadows nest
The Mercer GC pair aren't yet incubating. Nest monitors report that both adults were in the nest and one of them brought grass to the nest.
On February 26th an immature eagle visited the Mercer GC nest. We expect eggs in the next week.
The Mercer County GC pair has not yet started incubation. The nest observer reports that the nest looks in good shape. Last season they did not start incubating until March 7th.
The Mercer Meadows pair hatched on 2/19.
Nest monitors report that there is at least one eagle, they witnessed a feeding on 2/26/22
The Mercer Meadows pair are incubating since 1/15.
Mercer GC; This pair usually starts incubating two weeks later than the Mercer Meadows nests.
Nest Monitor, Kevin Buynie reports that grass has been brought to the nest, they are preparing for incubation.
2021 Mercer County Eagle Updates
It was a good season for the Mercer County Park nests, with a total of 5 young eagles fledging from the two nests. We look forward to the 2022 nesting season.
Mercer Co Parks nest 1: incubation 3/7: hatched 4/7; 3 chicks; fledged 7/6
Mercer Co Parks nest 2: incubation 2/20; hatched 3/30; 2 chicks; fledged 6/13
June 21, 2021
Mercer County Parks eagle chicks are branching.
June 14th, 2021
One of the chicks in the Mercer Meadows nest has fledged! The other chick is branching and will be fleding any day now.
The three chicks in the Mercer Co Parks nest are testing their wings by flapping and hopping around the nest.
June 11th, 2021
The three chicks in the Mercer Co Park nest are now nine weeks of age. In the photo below you can see the middle chick still has down on the legs.
May 19th 2021
The three Mercer Co Park chicks are now six weeks of age and growing fast. Nest monitors captured this great photo of all three chicks. You can see the size difference between the chicks since they hatched a few days apart in the order the eggs were laid.
The Mercer Meadows chicks are now seven weeks of age. They still have a few weeks in the nest until fledging, but will now be eating food on their own.
May 10th, 2021
The three Mercer Co Park chicks are five weeks of age. In the below photo you can see two of the chicks. The pin feathers are very obvious on the chick with it's wing out.
The Mercer Meadows chicks are six weeks of age.
April 25th, 2021
The two Mercer Meadows chicks are now four weeks of age and moving around the nest. They can be seen in the photo below.
Nest monitors confirmed that there are three chicks in the Mercer Co Park nest this season! If you look closely in the below photo you can see three fuzzy little heads.
April 13th, 2021
There are two chicks in the Mercer County Meadows nest ~ 2 weeks of age
There is hatching at the Mercer County Parks nest. Nest monitors know that hatching has occured based on the adults behavior, though the chicks are too young to see.
March 30th, 2021
Nest monitor Kevin Buynie reports that the Mercer County Meadows nest has hatched. He was able to see one little chick head sticking up.
March 21st, 2021
The pair continues to incubate. Hatching is expected around March 24th.
The pair continues to incubate.
March 8th, 2021
Nest monitors the Buynie's reported sighting at least 15 eagles of all different ages at Mercer County park this past weekend.
March 6th, 2021
The eagles are no longer using the nest where the cam was installed, but there was an interesting sighting yesterday by CWF's Ben Wurst. He was able to get a screen shot of a 2 year old eagle with a green NJ band. Once zoomed in the band could easily be read. E/81 was banded at the Princeton nest on May 16th, 2019 and was a female. The Mercer County Park nest monitors the Buynie's, also monitor the Princeton nest.
February 13th, 2021
Neither of the pairs are incubating yet, but both pairs have been seen at their nests.
January 12, 2021
Nest monitors the Buynie's, report that the Mercer County park eagles are preparing the nest for the season.
The second Mercer County Park nest isn't incubating, but have both been seen at the nest.
2020 Mercer County Eagle Updates
June 29, 2020
The Buynie's report that on June 27th, both chicks were at the nest. E/94 stayed in the nest while her sibling did some flying and landed in a nearby snag. It's good to know that they are both doing well. The adults are still in the nest area.
June 17, 2020
Exciting news at the Mercer County Parks eagle nest both chicks have fledged.
On June 6th while checking the nest Kevin Buynie saw only one chick in the nest and it was too soon for them to fledge. He discovered the chick on the ground (a similiar situation happened in 2019) and took the eagle to Mercer County Wildlife. The chick, a female, was in good shape but needed time to recover and be strong enough to fly when released.
On June 13th, Kevin saw the second chick in the nest had fledged. It was perched in a snag away from the nest tree.
On June 16th, the second eagle was ready for release. She was banded with a green NJ band on her right leg (E/94). She flew and landed in some grass but then flew up to perch in trees. The juvniles will hang out in the area for a few more weeks while they learn to hunt on their own.
June 4, 2020
The chicks are ten weeks of age. Tune in this Sunday June 7th at 2pm for the Virtual Eyes on Eagle Event. The zoom webinar is hosted by the Mercer County Parks Commission.
May 28, 2020
The chicks are nine weeks of age. They are flapping and doing wing exercies to strengthen their wings.
The chicks at the second Mercer Co. Park nest have fledged. Kevin Buynie reports that the nest was empty.
May 19, 2020
The two chicks in the Mercer County Park nest are now eight weeks old. The Buynie's report that the chicks were seen flapping their wings.
The two chicks at the second Mercer Co. Park nest are 12 weeks old. The Buynie's report that only one chick was observed in the nest on the 17th. The second chick has fledged. Even after fledging, the chicks will stay in the nest area for a few weeks as they learn to hunt on their own.
May 3, 2020
The chicks in the Mercer Co Park nest are now 6 weeks of age. The Buynie's captured this photo of the female bringing food to the hungry chicks.
The chicks in the second Mercer Co. Park nest are now 10 weeks of age, only a few weeks away from fledging. In the photo below you can see one of the chicks flapping it's wings, they do this to strengthen their wing muscles.
April 29, 2020
Eagle nest monitors Kevin & Karin Buynie report that the chicks in both Mercer County Park nests are doing well. The chicks in the first nest are now five weeks old while the second Mercer County nest has nine week old chicks. The first photo below is of the five week old chicks, they still have their second coat of down and are starting to get their pin feathers. The second photo shows the much larger and feathered nine week old chicks. Kevin reports that these chicks are now self-feeding.
April 20, 2020
The chicks are four weeks old. Kevin reports, that he was able to see quick peeks of the chicks. It was a windy day so they were staying low in the nest. In the below photo you can see a fuzzy lump at the females feet, which is one of the chicks.
The chicks at the second Mercer Co Park nest are now eight weeks old. Now that that they are older the adults don't spend as much time in the nest, but at least one will still be keeping an eye on the chicks.
April 7, 2020
Good news. Kevin reports that there are two chicks at the Mercer Co. Park nest. The chicks are two weeks old, with their first coat of gray down. See if you can spot one of the chicks in the photo below.
April 2, 2020
The Mercer Co. Park eagle nest has hatched. On April 1st, nest monitor, Kevin Buynie, saw a feeding session. Chicks usually won't be seen in the nest until about 2 weeks of age.
The two chicks at the second Mercer Co Parks nest are now six weeks old.
March 26, 2020
The Mercer pair continues to incubate and hopefully by the next update there will be hatching. Incubation started on February 24th, so hatching should be approximately around March 30th.
The 2nd Mercer Co nest has two chicks which are now five weeks of age and the oldest is developing pin feathers. Thanks to the nest monitors the Buynie's for keeping us update.
March 11th, 2020
The Mercer Co. GC pair continues to incubate, hatching is expected the last week in March.
The second nest located on Mercer County property has two chicks that are three weeks old. Nest Monitors Kevin and Karin Buynie took this photo of one of the chicks.
March 4, 2020
The Mercer Co pair continues to incubate. Nest monitor Kevin Buynie captured a great shot of the female coming in for a landing. A second pair on Mercer Co property already hatched and a chick has been seen.
February 25, 2020
Nest Monitor Kevin Buynie reported incubation on February 24th. Incubation lasts ~ 35 days. Eagles can lay 1 to 3 eggs and they are laid a few days apart. Now that incubation has started an adult will be on the nest most of the time. Though there can be brief periods, especially on warmer days, where the adults are off the eggs. But one will always be close by the nest.
Kevin witnessed a juvenile eagle attempt to land twice on the nest, only to realize that an adult was occuping the nest. The juvenile then landed on a nearby tree to perch and the female continued incubating.
Please note: this photo was taken by the NJ Eagle Project Nest Monitor with a high powered lens so that the eagles weren't disturbed. Please respect eagles and don't approach them or nests.
February 5, 2020
The last update of the 2019 season was that the nest had collapsed in the beginining of July. We were hopeful that the pair would return to the old nest where the eagle cam is located. But these are some determined birds and they worked hard to rebuild last year's nest. The nest looks to be much stronger this year. The pair is in the area but not yet incubating.
2019 Mercer County Eagle Updates
July 8, 2019
The second chick has fledged from the Mercer nest. E/89 and his sibling were both seen at the nest perched together, in the photo below, E/89 is on the right, we suspect his sibling is female due to her larger size. The nest is falling as seen in the photos below. On July 1st the nest was still fairly upright but by July 7th it had fallen substantially, most likely due to the heavy rains. The good news is that both chicks are fledged.
Hopefully the pair will use the old nest with the eagle cam next season.
Thank you to Kevin and Karin Buynie who monitored this pair.
July 2, 2019
E/89 fledged on Friday the 28th. Yesterday nest monitor, Kevin Buynie, photographed him perched and flying near this season's nest. He reports that the remaning chick is very active jumping around the nest and should be fledging soon.
June 27th, 2019
Nest monitor Kevin Buynie reports that the chick remaining in the active nest is doing well and branching. E/89 is out of camera view this morning, perched above the nest.
June 25th, 2019
This morning, the chick that was at Mercer Wildlife Center since being found on the ground June 12th, was re-nested. He was placed in the old nest from the 2018 nesting season and can now be seen on the nest cam. This old nest and the current nest, with his sibling, are close together, so the adults will be able to bring food to both nests.
He was banded with both a federal(silver) band and a green NJ state band, E/89.
June 20, 2019
The chick continues to do well at Mercer Wildlife Center. He is a male which was confirmed by measurements. They are waiting for him to gain some more weight and eat on his own before renesting. We're hoping on getting him back up in the nest next week.
Nest Monitor's Kevin and Karin Buynie report that the second chick, still in the nest, has been active; preening, standing and flapping it's wings.
June 13, 2019
Yesterday nest monitor Kevin Buynie went out to check on the Mercer eagle nest. He saw one chick in the nest and was waiting to see the second when he heard calling. He saw that the second chick was perched on a log on the ground. The chicks are about eight weeks old, so they still have a few more weeks until they fledge. Being on the ground leaves the chick vulnerable to predation.
Kevin, who is experienced with handling eagles, took the chick to the Mercer County Wildlife Center. At the center it was examined and determined that there were no injuries. The chick is underweight, so will stay at the center until he is up to a normal weight. At that point a decision will be made on how to renest the chick. Thank you to Kevin and Mercer Wildlife Center for helping to give this young eagle a second chance.
June 9, 2019
The chicks are eight weeks of age and getting big. Nest monitor Kevin Buynie got the following shots of both chicks in the nest. You'll notice a turtle shell caught on the outside of the nest, turtles seem to be a favorite food for eagles. The other photo shows one of the chicks stretching it's wings, which reveals the still fuzzy legs and feather sheaths under the wings.
May 22, 2019
The chicks are now five weeks old and are getting their pin feathers. You can see in the below photo the dark feathers starting to come in along their back and wings. The photo gives a nice view of the chicks full crop. (the crop is a pouch on the chest where extra food is stored).
May 16, 2019
The chicks are now just over four weeks of age. Nest monitor Kevin Buynie took this photo of the two chicks sitting in the nest. They now have their second coat of dark gray down. The second photo is of the female bringing a small fish to the nest.
April 30th, 2019
The pair built a new nest in 2019 in a different tree then where the eagle cam is located. The pair started incubating on March 8th and hatched on April 16th. The nest monitors have reported two chicks in the nest. As of today the chicks are approximately two weeks of age.
The male in this pair is a NJ banded bird. He has a green state band D/47 on his left leg. That specific combination tells us that he was banded on April 13, 2012 at the Prospertown nest.
The below photo shows the banded male bringing prey to the nest. If you look closely in the second photo you will see the fuzzy head of a chick between the adults.
Please note: this photo was taken by the NJ Eagle Project Nest Monitor with a high powered lens so that the eagles weren't disturbed. Please respect eagles and don't approach them or nests.
Stay tuned for regular updates from our biologists and educators on the nesting eagles of Mercer County.
Post your own observations and comments below!
And calling all photographers – post your photos of bald eagles nesting, flying, perching, or feeding in Mercer County. (Remember – never approach a bald eagle nest! Disrupting them at an active nest may result in the nest failing and young perishing).
- Bald Eagle Life History
- NJ Eagle Trax - Bald Eagle Tracking Project
- NJ Bald Eagle Monitoring Project