It seems eagles like it here as much as we do and are taking up permanent residence, particularly along to lower Merrimack River from Haverhill to Newburyport. Counting in March will allow researchers to determine how many eagles are nesting here, as opposed to using the river as a winter residence.
Tom French, assistant director of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said on the lower Merrimack River alone there are eight nesting adults, and perhaps four juveniles. That’s a remarkable figure, he said, considering that in 1979, when the state first started its eagle count, there were only eight in the entire state, and none of them was nesting.
Bald eagles seemed headed toward extinction a half century ago. Today, they are no longer considered to be endangered and their numbers grow each year. The 2011 count found a record 107 eagles across Massachusetts. The 2012 count was canceled due to bad weather.
Thanks to all those who have worked to bring eagles back from the brink of extinction, we can all enjoy the sight of these beautiful birds in the skies above the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire.