Hinsdale Nest by Vernon Dam

Scroll down for the latest entry…

This bald eagle nest is located in Hinsdale, NH behind the Vernon Dam. The photo here is from 2018. I saw one eaglet in this nest that year. I’m not sure if this pair is banded. I’ve never gotten close enough to be able to tell. It’s a well protected nest. Not easy to get very close to.

Hinsdale "Dam" Nest
Taken in 2018 at the beginning of nesting season.

May 11, 2019

MAY 10 2019
Female adult eagle with her two eaglets. The older sibling should be about 6 weeks old here.

I didn’t go out to this nest much last year. It’s a decent hike round trip, and it’s not

May 11, 2019
The older sibling is practicing flapping his wings.

possible to get to this nest in my kayak. Things are a little different this year though. I volunteered to monitor a peregrine falcon nest for VT Audubon. I committed to coming out here once a month, through August, for 3 or more hours each time, so I will be spending some time here this summer. The nest is on the stack of VT Yankee, a power plant. It just so happens that if I stand on the path where this bald eagle nest is, I also have a view of that stack, although it’s quite a distance away. I went out there today at the suggestion of a NH Audubon senior biologist, who said I should be able to see the stack from there. I think it’s a little over a mile to walk out to it. I got there just about 10 am. Part one of my mission was accomplished. Although it’s still very far away, I could see the falcon nest on the stack. I have a telephoto lens on my camera, but the falcon nest box is still pretty far away. I’m still working that part out.

May 11 2019
Female adult bald eagle and eldest eaglet. The younger one is down inside the nest. Two eaglets for 2019.

Rumor had it that the pair here had two eaglets this year, but there was suspicion that one did not survive. It’s very difficult this early on. The eaglets are still small, and the nests are large and deep. The view is usually looking up at a nest, not looking down in. Until they get larger, it’s difficult to see the eaglets the first 2-3 weeks. From what I understand, the older sibling in this nest is just about 6 weeks of age at this point. Just a few minutes into the visit, I could see two heads in the nest, and then two full bodies, aside from the adult female. It was a really great thing to see.

I stayed about 3 hours today. I broke up my time between watching the eaglets, and waiting to see falcons. The eaglets were very playful and a joy to watch. The female was very attentive. She has done this many times before, and is a good mother. I forgot how peaceful it can be here, even with the 15 mph winds, it was a peaceful day. I’ll be back again next month if not sooner. The eaglets will be ready to fledge just about then. There will be even more activity. I’m looking forward to it.

June 9, 2016

JUNE 9 2019
Eaglet in the nest by Vernon Dam

Lots of lessons learned were learned today, and a new question came up. I was looking for a new place to kayak, and I thought…why not the Vernon dam beach as an entry point? Well, although I was able to paddle out the bald eagle nest by the dam, I would highly recommend avoiding this route in a kayak…and by that, I mean don’t do it. I’m experienced in the kayak, but the current was strong enough that I became concerned. I text my husband so he knew what my situation is. Thankfully all worked out okay, but I won’t be doing that any time soon again…and by that I mean never.

I was able to get closer to the nest than I ever was before, which is exciting. What wasn’t exciting is what I saw. There is now only one eaglet in this nest (that I was able to see). Is it possible the other eaglet was lying down and sleeping? I suppose it is possible, but not likely. Has the other one fledged already? Again, possible but not likely.

JUNE 9 2019
Lone eaglet in the nest by the Vernon Dam

I didn’t see either adult while I was there. Mind you, I didn’t stay long because of the current. (I’m still not sure how I even got these photos). I was very surprised to see just the one eaglet. My hope is that there is a reason I didn’t see him/her, and that reason is not that he/she didn’t survive. Statistics say that 80% of eaglets will not make it to adulthood (age 5), and 50% of eaglets survive their first year. I don’t get out to this nest as often as the others, but I will make a point to get out (by land!) in the next week or so. Maybe I’ll see the 2nd eaglet next time.