Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Eagle Festival

Early in February, Massachusetts Audubon and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge hold "The Merrimack River Eagle Festival". This year it will be held on Feb 11.

Each winter as lakes, ponds and rivers freeze over the eagles start to congregate along the brackish water at the mouth of the Merrimack. They must be creatures of habit, since despite the unseasonably warm winter, they have started to show up just in time for the Eagle Festival . (Or perhaps they just like showing off to crowds.)

Today, I wandered up to check on the activity. We encountered this juvenile on the north side of Deer Island, next to the Chain Bridge.

Down near Jefferson Street in Newburyport, another juvenile eagle's position was given away by this group of mobbing crows.

Nearby in the middle of a residential neighborhood, an Gray Eastern Screech Owl is roosting. My lack of success encountering Screech Owls with their eyes open continues. Though this is the fourth one I've seen this year.

Some friends of ours really like loons. They've invited us up to their camp where I've been able to get some great photos from a kayak. Since they see each other during the winter, I grabbed a couple of quick snapshots.

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