Bald Eagles in Bass River?
This morning I had a special treat on my way into work. I was driving on the parkway in Bass River, just before where the parkway crosses over the Mullica River. I was staring out onto the road ahead of me, when a large bird caught my eye. I've seen my fair share of turkey vultures, red tailed hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks on the parkway. So when the beautiful bald eagle flew by, it took me a second to realize what I was looking at.
The majestic eagle flew quite low, which gave me a good long look at it. I could see the details in the feathers, the bright yellow beak and feet, and the gorgeous eyes of the raptor. The eagle flew past and then proceeded to fly alongside the parkway, flying south, at the same level as my window. It was beautiful.
I continued my morning telling everyone I saw about the eagle. This made me think, are there any bald eagle nests in the area? Could this be the start of seeing more eagles on my morning commute?
I started researching bald eagle sightings and nests in South Jersey to find out if my friend was a lone eagle that I spotted by chance or if there are many in the area. According to the New Jersey Audubon Society, "State-endangered birds breeding at the Bass River Marsh include...Bald Eagles..." The site also lists the bald eagle as a state-endangered species found at the Bass River Marsh.
So, perhaps there are more bald eagles in the area.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife publish a report every year containing active bald eagle nests in the state. I may be lucky again, because according to a map in the article there are a few nests near by.
Nests 167, 164, and 161 are close to where I was driving this morning. 167 is in Wading River, 161 is in Galloway, and 164 is Ballanger Creek West (part of the Ballanger Creek Habitat Enhancement Site).
Fingers crossed that my morning will be enhanced with another bald eagle sighting soon.
Sources: NJ Audubon, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife