by Kate Berube
Craig Sweezey/Sweezey Photography
Avid bird watchers have taken note that sometime in the past few years, our local area has become home to a majestic nesting pair of Bald Eagles. Though the national bird is still considered threatened in the state of New York, conservation efforts have resulted in a steady rise in population nationwide in recent years. To date, there are now 11 recorded mating pairs located on Long Island. According to the New York State’s DEC, once a pair selects a nesting territory, they use it for the rest of their lives, which can be an average of 30 years.
Despite its dignified reputation, Bald Eagles have a lesser-known soft side. They mate for life and engage in romantic elaborate airborne courtship rituals that show off their remarkable flight abilities. Spreading their massive 6-foot wingspan, the mating pair will climb high into the sky, lock talons, and then dramatically spiral toward the earth, breaking apart at the last minute. It is truly a sight to behold and puts a whole new connotation to the phrase falling in love.
Recently Craig Sweezey, of Sweezey Photography, captured these breathtaking shots of our new neighbors making themselves right at home. As we sincerely hope they are here to stay, please keep in mind that the DEC recommends wildlife lovers to keep a 600-foot distance from any nesting site. This helps to protect the habitat and encourages future eagles to roost here on the South Shore for years to come.