The Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen Memorial Field Trip Search for Eagles was held Sunday, Feb. 7.
Our first bald eagle sighted was perched above the shale bank at Tom’s Creek. There were no bald eagles at the Bushkill Access.
About 100 yards north of the turn to the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) on the Route 209 shoulder, a bald eagle was feeding on road kill. As we approached it took flight and flew in front of my vehicle for about 20 yards.
No eagles at the Dingmans Access, Dingmans cemetery, or Route 209 mile marker 16 nest.
An adult bald eagle was perched on the shale pit nest near mile marker 17. No luck at Milford Beach or the river road. We were to be joined by additional participants at the parking area of the north entrance to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, mile marker 20; however, inclement weather caused cancellations.
We checked the nest near the Charles S. Peirce House in Milford and watched a large female bald eagle feeding while she was in the nest.
We checked behind the Delaware Valley High School; no eagles present. We added a pit stop at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center.
The Laurel Grove Cemetery overlook above the Tristate Monument is where we checked an active nest. No eagles present.
The Eddy Farm Resort overlook was quiet; no new species added.
By 11 a.m. we were at the Hawks Nest historical marker. Checked the whitewash on the cliff, no peregrine falcon. From the Indian Head Canoe livery station we located the nest on the Pennsylvania side of the river. We turned and spotted two perched adult bald eagles very close to us on the New York side. I was able to capture an image of the perched pair.
At Pond Eddy on the Pennsylvania side we spotted a perched adult bald eagle in a pine tree. This location is where in past there was an active bald eagle’s nest. The nest is no longer there; however, this is an area that bald eagles frequent. When we looped back through this area two juvenile bald eagles were present, one in flight and the other perched next to the river.
We continued to the Mongaup Falls Observation Blind. Four juvenile bald eagles were perched upstream. We spotted them as we crossed the bridge and approached the blind. Common mergansers and a raft of black ducks were on the water. An adult bald eagle was perched on a tree limb above Plank Road. Two bald eagles were perched along the water, they took flight as we approached. A large juvenile bald eagle was the eight eagle we saw on the Mongaup-Plank Road section of the trip. I was able to capture an image of this regal bird. We checked the nest along Plank Road; no eagles present.
No bald eagles at the Rio Reservoir Dam.
We returned to the Delaware and traveled up river to the Barryville-Shohola nest site. No eagles; however, we watched two eastern bluebirds feeding on staghorn sumac fruits. We spotted an eagle in flight above the ridge as we approached the Upper Delaware National Park Headquarters. An adult eagle was perched near the river access just north of Barryville. By the time we reached the confluence of the Lackawaxen and the Delaware, we had observed 19 bald eagles. An adult eagle flew from the Lackawaxen and perched near the confluence of the two rivers as we waited.
We added two bald eagles along the Lackawaxen. None were at either of the two nests we are monitoring, one near the pipeline crossing and the other at Appert Road. An adult bird was perched, then flew near the second bridge. The 22nd bald eagle of the day was a screaming perched adult near swinging bridge.
We concluded our field trip at 3 p.m.
Future Searches for Eagles:
Future searches will be held on the following Sundays: March 7 and 14.
Weather permitting, meet at 8 a.m. at the PEEC parking lot (538 Emery Road, Dingmans Ferry, Pa.), or at 10 a.m. at the north entrance to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area entrance, Route 209 south mile marker 20, Milford, Pa. The search will conclude along the Lackawaxen River at approximately 4 p.m.
Dress warmly, and bring binoculars, field guides, and a lunch. Face coverings and social distancing are required.
To participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-325-0536, and indicate which field trips you will be attending. There is no charge.
An eagle identification field guide, and Search for Eagles activities publication will be provided by the Brandwein Institute.
Editor’s note: Jack Padalino, who leads the Search for Eagles, is president emeritus of the Pocono Environmental Education Center, a partner with the National Park Service.