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Autumn – And Eagles and Ospreys – In Massachusetts

When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head.
- William Blake


For the last few weeks we've been enjoying a new discovery, Heard Pond in Wayland, Massaschusetts. The movie On Golden Pond could have been filmed here. It's that kind of landscape. You almost expect Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn to paddle by in their rowboat. But as much as we appreciate the beauty of the pond, we've been there for another reason.....Bald Eagles and Ospreys. There are several Bald Eagles, adults and juveniles, and several Ospreys, inhabiting the pond right now. There have been an increasing number of birders at the pond since the word went out.

© Susan Moses

Bald Eagles and Ospreys get our attention. Day after day, some of us would be there by 7AM, and we'd patiently wait for the eagles and Ospreys to appear. There's a bare tree behind where we congregate. and often a lone Bald Eagle, generally one of the juveniles, is perched on that tree early in the morning. I have so far not been one of the lucky ones who have caught one of these eagles on that tree, but I'm confident my encounter will come.

Hawkwatcher Susan Moses had a great encounter with this juvenile Bald Eagle (right) perched on a tree along the pond one Sunday morning recently.

As we converse at the edge of the pond, we constantly scan the sky above hoping for an eagle or Osprey sighting. And often enough, we do see them. Sometimes, we will see two or three Bald Eagles, or the same number of Ospreys, at the other end of the pond, slowly circling. We watch them, hoping that they will head our way, and every now and then they comply. As they fly across the pond, we will them to keep on coming toward us. And they sometimes come right to our side of the pond and even fly right over us. Those are very exciting moments. These magnificent birds fly by maybe 20 feet above us.

© Yunzhong He
© Alex Zavatone © John Harrison


Camera shutters whirr in unison when these fly-overs occur. Now and then, there's even a fish in the talons of one of the eagles or Ospreys when they fly over. And we've watched the eagles and Ospreys dive for fish in the pond. Sometimes even close.

Photographer Yunzhong He caught a magnificent Osprey dive recently. The bird was relatively close, and he managed some great images. Photographer Alex Zavetone, who lives close to the pond, has caught some nice Osprey dives, too. For those of us in this pursuit, a pond with Bald Eagles and Ospreys hanging around is a bonanza. The Ospreys are here pretty late. Usually they head south by the end of September, so we expect that the few Ospreys enjoying Heard Pond will pack their bags and head to Havana any day now. But until they do, we're going to be out there trying to capture them with our lenses.

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Adapted from a blog post that originally appeared in the Medford Wildlife Watch, Medford (MA) Transcript
Used with permission of GateHouse Media New England/Medford Transcript

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