ABACO BALD EAGLE(S): NEW SIGHTINGS
In March, I posted about a bald eagle spotted by a Delphi fisherman out on the Marls near Big Pine Point HERE – a very rare sighting indeed. The only previous Abaco sightings were sporadic, of a single bird, and all since 2000 (see below).
In May, there was another bald eagle sighting, also on the Marls, this time by Danny Sawyer while out fishing; in the Power Plant area; and ‘Kelly’s Mom’ reported one from the Lubbers Quarters / Tahiti Beach area.
In September came the first photo ever of an Abaco bald eagle, taken by Carol Rivard Roberts in the Cross Harbour area from a considerable distance.
And now, November, Delphi West & East fisherman, most entertaining boat partner, and friend Howard Pitts from Little Harbour has emailed to say that he saw a bald eagle “off the Cherokee Rd near the cell tower” in the last couple of days.
BALD EAGLE SIGHTINGS REPORTED ON ABACO SINCE c1950 (= ‘ever’)
- 2000 December, location unknown – info from Woody Bracey
- 2001 December – Chicken Farm area – Betsy Bracey
- 2002 December – over Marls opposite Treasure Cay – Woody Bracey
- 2004 Autumn – south of Lynard Cay (after hurricane) – Cheryl Noice
- 2014 Date unknown – circling the power plant – LC
- 2017 March – Big Pine Point, Marls – James Cheesewright
- 2017 Early May – Power plant area – LC
- 2017 May – Marls – Danny Sawyer
- 2017 May – Lubbers / Tahiti Beach area – ‘Kelly’s mom’
- 2017 September – Cross Harbour – Carol Rivard Roberts (with photo)
- 2017 November – Cherokee Road – Howard Pitts
Italics = a report in comments on Danny’s FB page; Blue = added reports to me
So now for 2017 we have 6 sightings, including the first sighting with verification by photo. As I said previously, “there really is no mistaking a bald eagle. For obvious reasons it is surely one of the most recognisable raptors of all. And the only Abaco candidates for confusion would be a turkey vulture or an osprey. There’s very little scope for confusion with either”.
I suspect that the 2017 sightings are all of the same lone bird that has somehow strayed over to Abaco and finds the available prey good, and the location congenial. Also, he is undisputed king of the skies. I imagine his daily hunting range is a wide one, which would explain the varied sighting locations. I’m sticking with this theory unless and until 2 eagles are seen together.
ABACO BALD EAGLE CHALLENGE
Carol Rivard Roberts is the winner of the challenge I set – the first person to capture an Abaco bald eagle on camera. She carries off the traditional yet strangely theoretical and / or symbolic Rolling Harbour bottle of Kalik, and the Kudos that attaches to it.
Reports of any further sightings would be very welcome, with photographs a bonus…
Credits: all brilliant eagle photos by very kind permission of Brian Lockwood, taken in his backyard in Poquoson, Va. except tiny distant Abaco eagle by Carol Rivard Roberts; amusing cartoon, Birdorable