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Oct 10, 2014 1:00 PM

Eagles making a big comeback in NH, says Fish and Game


HOLDERNESS - A juvenile bald eagle was released into the wild on a Squam Lake island Friday by N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers and wildlife rehabilitator Maria Colby of Wings of the Dawn Bird Sanctuary in Henniker.

The release was part of an ongoing program that has successfully restored the population of eagles, once an endangered species in the state.

Conservation Officer Christopher Brison rescued the injured bird in August of this year. It was found with a broken leg near its nest on Long Island in Squam Lake.

A concerned island property owner on Squam reported the injured bird and helped Fish and Game reach the island by boat.

Brison brought the rescued eagle to the Squam Lakes Science Center, which then relayed the bird to be rehabilitated by Maria Colby at the Wings of the Dawn Bird Sanctuary. It is not known how the young eagle was injured, but it may have fallen out of the nest or had a rough landing while learning to fly.

CO Brison, Fish and Game Sergeant Brad Morse and wildlife rehabilitator Maria Colby travelled by boat to Long Island on Friday to release the bird near its nest.

"We're glad to have played a positive role in rescuing this bird, so it could be restored to its healthy state and returned to the wild today," said Brison.

In its summary of the 2014 New Hampshire Bald Eagle breeding season, N.H. Audubon reported that this spring marked the 27th breeding season in the post-DDT recovery era for New Hampshire's bald eagles.

"Over the last decade, this population growth has been extremely robust, doubling roughly every 5 years," the report stated.

A total of 41 territorial pairs in New Hampshire in 2014 set a new state record-high for the post-DDT era, according to Audubon staff.

"New Hampshire now has bald eagles nesting in all three far-flung corners of the state - from Pittsburg to New Castle to Hinsdale," said an Audubon spokesperson

Perhaps nowhere is the growth of the eagle population more obvious than in the Lakes Region, where 11 territorial pairs are now scattered between Newfound Lake in Hebron and Province Lake in Wakefield.

Other highlights in 2014 included the first successful nesting on the Merrimack River north of Concord, confirmation of a new territory south of Concord near the Bow Power Plant, and the post-fledging discovery of a successful pair on the Connecticut River in Piermont.


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