New York Times columnist Jim Dwyer recently wrote about the amazing winter influx of Bald Eagles in our region -- and our own Alice:
New York has a surprising relationship with the bald eagle, given the city’s ostentatious hostility to most life-forms. The park rangers took part in an eagle “hack” project for five years. It seems that eagles lay four eggs and the first two out of the shell tend to thrive, getting the most to eat, Mr. Mastrianni said.
The two that dawdle don’t last long. To bolster the population, scientists have been relocating the runts. In New York, the eaglets were put in an artificial nest on a platform in Inwood Hill Park, near a salt marsh at the north end of Manhattan.
“I had to climb up and put fish in there for them to eat, without them seeing me,” Mr. Mastrianni said. The juveniles grow quickly; in a few months, they actually look bigger than adults, because they have “training feathers” that are extra long.
In five years, 20 eagles were tagged and released. The number that survived is thought to be low, in keeping with a 70 percent mortality rate for young raptors, Mr. Mastrianni said. One eagle was shot. Another was hit by a train. The pride of the project is an eagle that left Inwood and flew to a nest in Overpeck County Park in Bergen County, N.J., where it has had several generations of offspring, Mr. Mastrianni said. The whereabouts of the others are unknown. There is thought to be a nest on or near Staten Island, he said.
"The pride of the project" would be our Alice, the wonderful female nesting in Ridgefield Park.
I am totally proud of Alice as well. Above is a photo of Alice in the nest yesterday.
The link to Jim Dwyer's column is here.