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American Bald Eagles--Just in Time for July Fourth

North Salem resident Carol Bartlik happened to glance up recently and there they were -- two Bald Eagles, resting in a tree near Mills Road Bridge. She snapped a quick picture.

"At one time, a photo of Bald Eagles would be very unusual in North Salem at any time of year," said Arthur Green of the Bedford Audubon Society . "But recently the Hudson River has become one of the largest wintering areas.

"The Eagle population in the Northeast was practically annihilated by DDT and other organochlorides. But since these chemicals have been banned, the population is rebounding," according to the Bedford Audubon Society. "Quite a few can be expected to stay as summer residents or even remain throughout the year, so long as they have an ample food supply. Among other things, eagles have as much a penchant for eating carrion as they do fish or an inattentive duck."

Over the last three years, volunteers from the Bedford Audubon Society have conducted surveys of roosting Bald Eagles. The statistics show that the number increased from 51 in 2008 to 74 in 2009. Numbers were not as high in 2010, possibly due to weather conditions.

Donald Gambino of Purdys bikes around the area regularly, and has seen a pair near the library on Route 116. Nevertheless, they come as a surprise if you are unaware of their presence.

Mike Lubchenko, who has photographed hundreds of birds in the Somers area, said he has "never seen a Bald Eagle."

Look up into the trees, North Salem, and if you spot a Bald Eagle, let us know! Keep your eyes open, Somers, maybe you will be the first to see one!

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