Bald Eagles in the Adirondacks (and other areas)

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It seems to me that the Bald Eagle has really made a come back. I've seen one most every trip I've taken to the Adirondacks in the past two years. Pretty common in trip reports too. I guess they are all over the state but I haven't seen one in the southern-tier yet although I've heard people tell me of sightings.

The thing I noticed most this year was how much the Loons were flying. It seems every morning I'd hear them sounding the yodel alarm and taking off in a frenzy. I'm pretty sure they don't like flying much - you'd know why if you ever saw one take off. I don't have any proof of why, but my guess is Eagles (my powerful skills of deductions put 1+1 together). I'm also guessing they are moving around a lot to try to find ponds where the Eagles aren't. It used to be you'd see them all day long, now I've usually been seeing them at night.

Any thoughts on this? I wonder if we are going to see a decrease in Loon population due to the increase in Bald Eagles?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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260
Location
Middle of the Florida paddling paradise
In Florida it is not uncommon to see a Bald Eagle. In some areas have even come to expect it. Did not know that Bald Eagles hunted loons. Wondering if that is why I am seeing less and less Limkins here? Every one used to tell me Limkins were rare but always managed to see some when in there habitat. Now not so often.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Warren, Manitoba
We have hordes of Eagles in Manitoba, usually see at least one every trip regardless of where we go. It is possible the Loons are moving due to the Eagles but it could also be to find better fishing. It is getting to be more difficult for them to find quality fishing grounds and with more Loons there is less territory and they don't like to share.
 
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Well the fish is a good theory, but one spot in particular where I have seen them doing this the fish are literally everywhere. I don't fish and I see them all the time from the boat just looking in the water.

Also they start yodeling like crazy and fly in packs of two or three. I don't think they are fighting, I think they are warning others of an Eagle they spotted.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Location
Raymond, ME
Loons are indeed eagle food. You are invited to my house..yes you all. Plenty of camping in my yard. Come in June for the eagle/loon show

What happened is that eagles have built a very large aerie on an island across from my house. I only count one very large messy nest. But have seen four adults in that mess!

There are two islands on our lake and both have a shallow and quiet side. So the loons pick those to nest on as there is better protection from motorboat wake. The eagles have this figured out.. Their nests are above the quiet side of the islands.

Last year we watched as a backriding baby was picked off mother loon by an eagle and taken back to the aerie by ma eagle. Or maybe dad. The loon couple was in shock and the mother had some messed up feathers on her wing. They didn't move.. We were about 30 feet away in a canoe. We could have paddled up to both birds and touched them but thought .. hey they have had enough stress.

This was about the end of June when babies of both birds are born. The eagle nest is vacant but we still see the eagles almost every day. We aren't hearing their calls as much though. In July they were incessant screeches. with less loon tremolos. Now we hear more loon tremolos.

BTW the loons hate airplanes. And our lake has a sea plane base... When the plane goes up the alarm cries do too.

Somewhere there is a balance. The loons ought to know where the eagle nests are. This year the loon nest was AGAIN below the eagle aerie but so far seems so good. We have four big adolescent juvie loons. I think the loons are getting better about secreting their young. We don't see so much backriding but more loon babies stashed under docks.

I didn't know that Limpkins were rare.. The incredible screeching bird. They ARE hard to find when you try to locate the source of the call. I can't imagine an eagle bounding into mangrove roots and knees.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
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Location
Schenectady, NY
In the past few years I've seen eagles on Hitchins Pond, Stillwater Res, Newcomb Lake, and Lows Lake, all in the ADKs. Near home, I see them on the Mohawk River and Hudson River, literally minutes from Albany, and my house.

Also, there was a great blue heron rookery on Anthony Kill, about 20 minutes from home, used to be maybe 20 noisy, noisy nests. Well, 3 years ago, the eagles moved in and guess what?! No more great blue heron nests!!

As far as loons becoming eagle chow, why not? I saw an osprey trying for a loon snack and they're half the size of an eagle!
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
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NW Iowa
I may be wrong but I'd be surprised if loons took wing to escape eagle attacks. They can dive and hold their breath for a long time. They're most comfortable in the water and it's also where they'd have the best chance of avoiding attack.

Dabbling ducks are unable to evade by diving so they're quick to take wing and get out of dodge. Diving ducks on the other hand, at least from personal observation, stick around and simply dive underwater when an eagle makes a run at them.

If I saw a group of loons raising a fuss and taking off together like you describe I'd suspect males hounding a female and trying to on-up each other.

Alan
 
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Maybe... but I'm not quite convinced.

I've only seen a Loon take off once before I started noticing all the Bald Eagles. Now I see it quite often. I've seen this pack a couple times this year. I've heard the early morning yodels and seen them in the air multiple times this year as well.

Maybe I'm just noticing new Loon behavior, but in years past where I hadn't seen Bald Eagles I'd always just seen them in pairs or threes, on the water, fishing, diving, floating. I'd hear yodels, but never yodeling then flying. They'll yodel sometimes if you get near them in a canoe, just to warn you off. It's assumed to be their threat or warning call.

It's only now with seeing all the Eagles that I have been (and others as well) that I notice this strange behavior. Seems odd.

I'm trying to see if I can spot an Eagle when I see them doing this to confirm my theory. The odds are against me, the Eagle could be anywhere along the lake/pond and the Loons can cover ground quicker than I can.

I'll also add the places I've seen the Eagles, I haven't seen a Loon is sight unless it's early morning or near dusk.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
they often yodel while flying..its unnerving enough when they fly low enough to hear the vibrations from their rapid wingbeat cadence. To have a yodel overhead makes you jump!

On my lake loons have been coming and going to other nearby lakes for fifteen years..long before we had an abundance of eagles. On the water for boat avoidance they just dive. Neither motorboats nor paddle craft gets any sort of call.

Listen for the eagles call. You may hear them long before you see them. Loons are out all day but sometimes hard to see on the water. Eagles like tall pines.. and we have many over 100 feet tall here. They either like to perch where there is good visibility, be on a nest or soar.. They won't be just anywhere.

Here is an interesting story about odd loon behavior
http://maineoutdoors.biz/maine-outdoors-blog-eagles-and-loons

I've heard almost always the peal call. Eagles have surprisingly faint very high pitched calls for such a big bird

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/bald_eagle/sounds
 
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Joined
Sep 13, 2013
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427
Location
Long Island, NY
I saw Bald Eagles here on Long Island this past spring while paddling the Carmans River. I could hardly believe my eyes.

In the autumn of 2013 I saw one at Harriman State Park on Silver Mine Lake.

The summer 2013 I saw one in Collinsville, CT on the Farmington River.

I'm glad they are back. Maybe one day I'll get a decent photo of one.
 
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Yeah. I thought I heard them yodeling while flying! Wonder why?

And we had been hearing Eagle calls but didn't know what they were until we had a chance to get close to an Eagle and here it make them. I can't recall hearing the Eagle calls before the Loons went bezerk though. I'll have to be more observant next time.

It's hard to get a photo. I could have had a few, but I figured it wouldn't have come out good without a good zoom, so I just watched with my eyes.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
I saw Bald Eagles here on Long Island this past spring while paddling the Carmans River. I could hardly believe my eyes.

In the autumn of 2013 I saw one at Harriman State Park on Silver Mine Lake.

The summer 2013 I saw one in Collinsville, CT on the Farmington River.

I'm glad they are back. Maybe one day I'll get a decent photo of one.


They have been wintering for years at Stephensville Dam on the Farmington. They aren't new.. just more visible. We took lots of pictures at the dam in 1993.
 
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Jan 8, 2014
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Location
Minden, NV
It is down right heart warming to see bald eagles in so many different locations. They are around on western rivers but I still notice them.

We have them in the neighborhood in Nevada in late winter during the calving season as they feed on placentas.They have been in my yard a few times. A mated pair of golden eagles have been hunting here the last few weeks.

I just returned from Seattle to visit family. My parents live on a golf course next to Lake Washington with a bald eagle nest about 150 yards from the deck. With the windows open I could hear 2 parents teaching their fledgling to fly one night as they were calling to each other. The nest fell down in a windstorm recently and 23 small animal collars were discovered in the nest. The eagles have since rebuilt it.

In coastal Alaska bald eagles are the most common bird.

Loons are reason enough to paddle the North Woods. We get a few migrant common loons each fall during fishing trips on area lakes.
 
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Yeah it is the tremolo (I thought that was the yodel). I guess it also is used as a warning call.

I actually don't think I've heard them yodeling per that link. I'll pay closer attention next time.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
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1,087
Location
central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
Where I'm located on the Upper Susquehanna River (just downstream from where it comes out of Otsego Lake) we regularly see Bald Eagles; as well as Osprey and Great Blue Heron. My students are always amazed when we're paddling and they look up to see an eagle on a limb overhead. The DEC has identified an eagle's nest in the area and during the winter months Oneonta's waste water treatment plant discharges enough warm water that sections of the river never freeze. Consequently we see them year round now. The local Audubon group actually offers "Eagle Watches" now during the winter.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

snapper
 
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