The local paper follows, with great interest, the lives of a pair of nesting bald eagles on Nubanusit Lake. One of my earlier afternoon kayak adventures was to “Nubi” and after a short portage, to Spoonwood Pond just beyond. On my last visit I had spotted the mating pair but it was early in the season and there had been no eaglet sightings. Last week’s paper featured a story, Pizza With the Eagles, reporting there were two youngsters preparing to fledge.
I packed up the truck and headed out on Wednesday. Mid-week parking at the boat launch was easy, a few fishermen and kayakers. There was a stiff breeze as I headed across the lake, a welcome refresher from our 90º days. I stopped on the opposite shore for a quick swim. Granite lakes seem to have the gentlest, cool water. Gazing down through great depths of boulders, fish darted in their secret world. Dragonflies dotted the surface and danced over my kayak.
Bald eagles have come slowly to the state. This site was only the second in New Hampshire back in 1998. It took four years for the first nesting pair to produce young. Last year the nesting failed and the female died. She had fledged 19 young over the years including several rare sets of triplets. So this year’s couple did well to have two healthy youngsters.
I paddled back across to the point where the nest sat in a huge white pine over the water’s edge. I could clearly see on large bird, sitting outside the nest. It cawed when a motor boat putted by but otherwise sat silent. Because it had no while on its head, I assumed it was an eaglet. A couple in a row-boat came gliding over to ask if I was a regular eagle-watcher. “No, only sporadically” I answered. Apparently, the word among watchers is that one of the eaglets has disappeared.
As I headed back to the boat landing, I heard the eaglet screech and call. Looking back, it was stamping its talons on the branch. All I could think of was a two-year old having a tantrum. The cartoon reel in my mind had the parents sitting on a tree top across the lake watching the youngster. “Oh when is he going to leave the nest? He never cleans up and there are bones everywhere!” sighs Mom Eagle. “As soon as he does leave you’ll miss him and want to have more eaglets,” answered the Dad.
Nubanusit Lake borders the towns of Harrisville and Hancock, NH. It covers 715 acres and is 3 miles long. Spoonwood Pond is a 170-acres pond that is completely conserved. In 1870 both were dammed to produce hydro-power for the woolen mills in Harrisville, NH.