It’s likely that the relatively mild winters have spread out the eagle population, and encouraged many to stay closer to their native lands in Canada and northern Maine. Eagles head south in the winter to find open water, but Gette said they will remain in the north if they can.
“Migrating is expensive, migrating is dangerous,” said Gette, explaining the expense comes in the physical effort involved in flying hundreds of miles.
Locally, the best places to view eagles this year has been Deer Island in Amesbury and along the banks of the Merrimack River at the Spring Lane water treatment plant in Newburyport.
“Lots and lots of young eagles show us that there’s been lots and lots of breeding success,” he said.
According to the state, if weather does not permit the survey to occur on April 5, the backup date will be April 12. Additionally, the state encourages people to submit eagle sightings throughout the year by email at Mass.firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to “Eagle Survey,” MassWildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, 100 Hartwell St., Suite 230, West Boylston 01583.