New residents on campus: Mount becomes home for two nesting Bald Eagles
NEWBURGH, N.Y. – March 23, 2018 – Halfway through the spring semester, Mount Saint Mary College has eagerly accepted two new residents on its campus – a pair of nesting American Bald Eagles.
Around the end of January, members of the college community noticed the pair enlarging a nest in one of the campus’s trees, which previously was home to a Red-Tailed Hawk that abandoned the area. Since then, Associate Professor of Biology Douglas Robinson, who has a background in avian research, has been watching carefully for signs of nesting, which would indicate that the pair were preparing for the birth of eaglets.
Last week, the professor announced to the campus, “We’re proud parents to-be!” The female eagle’s behavior indicates that she is sitting atop something in the nest – likely eggs. Due to the location of the nest, he explained, it is hard to determine how many she may be sitting on. But if all goes well, the eggs should hatch in about 35 days.
“Since the first sighting of the eagles on campus around January 25, 2018,” Robinson explained, “the eagles have added sticks to broaden the nest by 18 inches on each side and increased the depth of the nest by double! Over the last two weeks, nest lining material, including grass and pine needles, have been brought to the nest, indicating that the eagles seem pretty serious about having a go at raising some young this season.”
Robinson is a behavioral ecologist focused on avian breeding biology. Through various research projects, Robinson has been marking crows since 2001, focusing specifically on the crows of the Newburgh, N.Y., area since 2011.
To keep up on all the latest eagle news at the Mount, visit http://www.msmc.edu/eaglewatch
CAPTION 1: A pair of American Bald Eagles have chosen to make the Mount their home as they prepare for the possible hatching of baby eaglets. Photo by Lee Ferris.