Report on the Feb. 2 Search for Eagles

Bushkill. Jack Padalino, president emeritus of Pocono Environmental Education Center and Brandwein Institute, led the Feb. 2 search for 31 species of birds, including 17 bald eagles, 4 red-tailed hawks, 2 red-shouldered hawks, and a peregrine falcon. An all-time first was the great horned owl flying upriver at Milford Beach.

| 05 Feb 2020 | 11:35

The Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen Memorial Field Trip took place in the Delaware Valley on Ground Hog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. It was 29 F degrees and overcast, half-inch of snow on the ground with some snow flurries. Winds were from the northwest.

The day began with watching feeder birds at home and at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) with a start of 13 species. We logged 147 miles in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from the Bushkill Access to where the trip concluded at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River, 2:30 p.m. at 39 F degrees.

Our first bald eagle was perched at the Route 209 mile marker 17 nest, second bald eagle was perched along River Road. The bald eagle at the Pierce House nest was deep inside it, probably incubating. Behind the Delaware Valley High School along the river, we added the fourth adult bald eagle. The fifth was seen from the Riverview Restaurant parking lot perched in New Jersey. Our sixth was perched near the nest in the Laurel Ridge Cemetery.

At the Hawks Nest, a common raven, peregrine falcon, adult bald eagle were perched along the river below us, and two juveniles were exhibiting courtship displays above us. An adult bald eagle was at the nest near Homemyer Road; another was high in the Pond Eddy perch tree.

As we crossed the bridge we drew a blank at the Mongaup Observation Blind on Plank Road and at the Rio Dam. No bald eagles. We had seen total of 13 bald eagles by the time we reached the Zane Gray Museum, where we added a perched juvenile and a spectacular view of migrating snow geese. We added one more bald eagle along the Lackawaxen at Appert Road, where we discovered a new nest. The 16th and 17th bald eagles flew by as we entered Route 6.

Future searches

Future Searches for Eagles will be held on Sundays, Feb. 9, and March 1 and 8, weather permitting.

To participate call 845-325-0536 and indicate which trips will you will attending. There is no charge.

Meet 8 a.m. at the Pocono Environmental Education Center parking lot or meet at 10 a.m. at the north entrance to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 200 yards south on Route 209 south from the Milford Bridge.

Dress warmly, bring binoculars, field guides, and a lunch.

Eagle observation data that we collect is shared with members of the Sussex County Bird Club, Eagle Institute, and Hawk Migration Association of North America.

An eagle identification field guide and “Search for Eagles” instructional material will be provided for participants by the Paul F-Brandwein Institute.

Join us to Search for Eagles, the symbol of our nation.

In addition to the 17 bald eagles we observed:
Canada goose
Snow goose
Common merganser
Turkey vulture
Bald eagle
Red-tailed hawk
Red-shouldered hawk
Peregrine falcon
Great horned owl
Ring-billed gull
Mourning dove
Rock pigeon
Red-bellied woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Hairy woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Carolina wren
Black-capped chickadee
Tufted titmouse
White-breasted nuthatch
American crow
Common raven
Blue jay
European starling
White-throated sparrow
Dark-eyed junco
Northern cardinal
House finch
American goldfinch
House sparrow