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Habitat loss is the greatest single problem that effects population declines of rare wildlife.

 

Three Bridges

This project is a partnership between multiple organizations to determine the effects of upgrading electrical transmission equipment on nesting bald eagles.


Bald eagles have made an inspiring recovery against overwhelming odds in New Jersey and across the eastern United States. From just a single nesting pair at a failing nest through the early 1980s, eagles have rebounded to over 300 pairs in 2020!

The return of our national symbol has been cheered by New Jerseyans young and old. One site that has been a local favorite has been found at Three Bridges, a community in Readington Township in Hunterdon County. Eagles have nested on top of an electric transmission tower since 2015 and have sucessfully raised 12 young.

With the line of towers being replaced this year by monopoles, PSEG worked with Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the State Endangered and Nongame Species Program, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that the Three Bridges eagles would have every opportunity to continue nesting here. PSEG designed a platform on the new monopole and placed the original nest on the platform once it was erected.

Update July 21st, 2021

Thank you for tuning in with us on the Three Bridges Eagle Nest Cam, it’s been an exciting season to say the least! The eagle cam will be turned off July 31st. At that point H/04 will be 17 weeks of age and 5 weeks post fledging. He will spend less time at the nest site until he leaves completely.

Eagle H/05 continues to recover at the Raptor Trust and is expected to be released back to the wild in a few weeks. Since he has had to spend so much time at the rehabilitation center, he will be behind in vital survival skills. State Biologists believe his best chance at survival will be to release him to a different location with ample food supply and lots of other eagles that he can learn from.

We hope to see you and the eagles at Three Bridges next season!

Update July 14th, 2021

Three Bridges Nest Monitor, Mary Ellen Hill, grabbed this screen shot yesterday morning. A rare sight to see the entire family now that the chicks have fledged. Missing, is H05 who continues to recover at the Raptor Trust. Juvenile eagle H04 is fledged, but will remain in the nest area for the next several weeks as he learns to survive on his own.

Image of July 13, 2021 Three BridgesZoom+ July 13, 2021 Three BridgesImage of July 14th, 2021; H04 sleepingJuly 14th, 2021; H04 sleeping

Update July 6th, 2021

The young eagle banded H/05, recently fledged from the Three Bridges nest, was found near the nest, injured, on July 4. He was taken to The Raptor Trust where he is being evaluated and given supportive care. He has a fracture of the left coracoid bone, which supports powered flight in the wing. It is essential that this heals well, and it will take several weeks of care and restricted movement until we know if it is going to heal. Some eagles don't have the temperament to handle captivity for the weeks this type of fracture requires to heal. We will post updates when they are available.

The 2021 season was a success with two chicks fledging. The below photo shows all four eagles (two adults and two fledges) on the tower June 23rd, 2021. Both fledges are flying but returned to the platform.

Image of Three Bridges June 23,2021. The adults and two fledges all on tower @ Thomas GuniaThree Bridges June 23,2021. The adults and two fledges all on tower @ Thomas Gunia

2021 Nesting Season Updates

After an initial period of seemingly observing the new nest platform from afar, the bald eagle pair began visiting the platform nest on February 12. Incubation was confirmed on February 24th and hatching can be expected around March 31st.

Image of Three Bridges pair during an incubation exchange @ Dan BrillThree Bridges pair during an incubation exchange @ Dan Brill

Hatching!

Nest monitors report that the adult eagles behavior's indicates that hatching was occuring April 2nd. The sides of the nest box prevent the observers from seeing into the nest, so they have been watching the behavior of the adults. Once a chick hatches the adults will bring food to the nest and feed the chick. The below photo was take by Tom Gunia on April 5th, showing both adults starting down into the nest box.

Image of Three Bridges April 5th, 2021 @Tom GuniaThree Bridges April 5th, 2021 @Tom Gunia

April 14th: Two chicks have been confirmed in the nest.

April 22nd: Nest monitor Mary Ellen Hill took this photo of one of the two chicks. The chicks are 3 weeks old.

Image of Three Bridges April 22, 2021@ Mary Ellen HillThree Bridges April 22, 2021@ Mary Ellen Hill

April 29, 2021: The chicks are now four weeks old and getting more active.

Image of Three Bridges April 28th, 2021@ Dan BrillThree Bridges April 28th, 2021@ Dan Brill

June 14, 2021

The chicks were banded on May 14th at six weeks of age. At the same time the camera was fixed. Both chicks are males. The two chicks are ten weeks of age and could be fledging at any time. Nest monitor, Mary Ellen Hill, got the below screen shot of one of the chicks perched for the first time. When eagle are nesting in a tree the young will perch on branches which is called "branching". In this case the chicks don't have any branches, so the perches were built as subsitute branches. The chicks have been flapping their wings and hopping around the nest. This is in to strenthen their muscles for flight.

Image of June 12, 2021 "branching"Zoom+ June 12, 2021 "branching"

Fledged

Chick banded H/04, fledged on June 20, 2021

Chick banded H/05, fledged on June 22, 2021

Image of First flight of H04, June 21, 2021. Screen shot by Mary Ellen HillFirst flight of H04, June 21, 2021. Screen shot by Mary Ellen Hill

Learn more:

Find Related Info: Bald Eagles

Duke Farms Eagle Cam

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Check out the live stream from a bald eagle nest at Duke Farms in New Jersey. Follow along as they breed, incubate, and raise their young.

 

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