Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Sullivan County attracts more bald eagles this winter

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Albany/HV: Sullivan County attracts more bald eagles this winter
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Sullivan County attracts more bald eagles at this time of the year than anywhere else in the Northeast. The Delaware Highland Conservancy says they are seeing more eagles this winter than ever before. Our Eva McKend has the story..

SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. — If you look up, you might just see a bald eagle. Every winter, Sullivan County attracts more than 200 of them.

The eagles flock in droves to this region from Canada when the water there freezes.

"The reason that the eagles are here is because of the natural habitat that we have. We have these clean waters. We have these forests that they want to sit in and areas that they want to have their nests. They are predominantly here during these cold January and February months for the same reason your neighbor might head down to Florida and be a snow bird of a different variety," said Sue Currier, Executive Director for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy.

The conservancy works with local groups throughout the region to teach people what they describe as proper "eagle etiquette" and the cultural and historical significance of the once endangered bird.

The eagles aren't the only visitors in the winter. The conservancy says every year about 4,000 people come to Sullivan County just to see if they can spot one.

"It’s the 'oh wow' factor of seeing eagles in the wild, to see an eagle fly by you or get a close up shot," said conservancy volunteer Jan Lokuta.

This ideal locale for America's national bird to hunt, fish and raise their young is becoming a mainstay location for the species.

"Now we have resident pairs that have made this their homes, so we actually have eagles that are nesting here all year long. They are mating here and raring their young here," said Jamie Bartholomew, Monitoring Coordinator for the conservancy.

For more information on how you can go eagle watching or to volunteer with the group, you can contact them at 845-583-1010 or send them an email at eagles@delawarehighlands.org.

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