The Bald Eagles of Nagog Pond

Photographs by Ainslie Sheridan

Exhibition, Upper Level of the Library, July 1 – 29, 2019

Presentation, Wednesday, July 24, 7 p.m. in the Library Meeting RoomPair of Bald Eagles in bare tree, photograph by Ainslie Sheridan

 

Acton resident Ainslie Sheridan will exhibit her photographs of bald eagles at Nagog Pond in the upper level of the library during the month of July.  On July 24 she will give a talk in the library about her encounters with the eagles.

Ainslie Sheridan’s first sighting of a bald eagle at Nagog Pond took place just over three years ago at her small horse farm in Acton.  The bird was perched in a tall dead pine tree.  That was the first and last time she saw it.  That is, until a year and a half later when she saw an eagle break a branch from a tree on her property, which it then carried off in its talons in a straight line, disappearing into a stand of pines at the edge of the pond.  A closer look at the top of the tallest tree showed a mass of intertwined sticks and twigs secured with dried mud amongst its boughs --  an eagle nest.  Because Ainslie is outdoors on her farm much of the time, the eagles have become habituated to her presence. She has thus been able to take numerous close shots of the pair as well as their eaglets.  This year there is yet another clutch and at least one eaglet has hatched.

The exhibition “The Bald Eagles of Nagog Pond “ is educational in nature, each photo labeled with a short text about the eagles’ behaviors, from transporting building materials to their nest, guarding that nest, and bringing their voracious babies a seemingly unending supply of largemouth bass.  One photo depicts a parent driving off a great egret, which accidentally flies too close to their domicile.  Additional photos portray the eaglets, from their first appearance perching on the rim of their nest, through their transformation from clumsy babies wobbling on branches, to fledglings with wingspans matching those of their parents. 

On Wednesday July 24 at 7 p.m. in  the Library Meeting Room, Ainslie will give a presentation on her extraordinary new neighbors, to date one of seventy six nesting pairs in Massachusetts, and for which Mass Wildlife and its cadre of dedicated personnel are responsible.