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Bald Eagle Population 'Thriving' In Massachusetts; First Eggs Spotted On Cape Cod In 115 Years

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Bay State's bald eagle population is soaring. MassWildlife said Wednesday it has documented more than 70 active eagle nests in the state this spring.

Nine new nests have been spotted in Fitchburg, Wenham, Concord, Rutland, Wareham, Medford, Northampton, Hudson and Barnstable. The Barnstable nest is the first sighting of an eagle's nest with eggs on Cape Cod in 115 years.

rutland nest
An eagle's nest in Rutland (Photo credit: Andrew Vitz/MassWildlife)

Eagles have also been spotted nesting on Martha's Vineyard this spring, but the eggs were cracked as the eagles clashed with ospreys. An intruding eagle has also killed chicks in two mainland nests.

"Although difficult for observers to witness, these events are all signs of a thriving eagle population in Massachusetts," MassWildlife said in a statement. "On the upside, more and more people across the Commonwealth are experiencing the thrill of seeing eagles in their own neighborhoods as these birds continue to expand their range to urban and suburban landscapes."

Bald eagles have moved from "threatened" to "special concern" on the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act list, thanks to conservation efforts.

Elsewhere in New England, New Hampshire recorded its oldest bald eagle - a 23-year-old male that hatched at the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware in 1997.


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