WEST WINDSOR, NJ -- Turn both "Eyes on Eagles" at The Mercer County Park for the second year to celebrate the nesting of four pairs of bald eagles, including two pairs who have chosen county parks for nest sites. The Park Commission, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF), PSE&G, and the Wildlife Center Friends are once again partnering to host eagle viewing programs throughout the spring nesting season.
“The habitat of Mercer County parklands has been improving for wildlife, and we are excited to welcome back this educational program,” County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “With the work by our Stewardship and Naturalist staff, as well as the partners of this program, there is opportunity to get outside to observe and learn something new.”
The first free public event will be on Monday, February 17 between 1:00 pm and 3:00 p.m. at the West Picnic Area of Mercer County Park. Additional “Eyes on Eagles” bald eagle viewings will now be held on the second Sunday and fourth Friday of the month, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 p.m. through May 10, 2020. Naturalists and guides will be on hand to help the public safely view bald eagles, providing binoculars and spotting scopes for a closer look.
“With the program’s success from last year, it is important to continue this initiative to highlight nesting pairs of bald eagles,” said Aaron T. Watson, Park Commission executive director. “Informing the public about this endangered species and how to respectfully view these raptors is an important piece our staff will be teaching to visitors.”
The Park Commission’s two recent eagle nests provide wildlife enthusiasts with a rare opportunity to view eagles in nature, but for the safety of the eagles, all viewing will be done from a distance. Bald eagles and many bird species are sensitive during their nesting season.
Park patrons must remain on marked trails at all times as disturbance to wildlife will cause harm, including their refusal to return to the area in the future. Public programs will provide important tips to park users on “eagle etiquette,” including information on federal regulations prohibiting the disturbance of bald eagle nests.
“Mercer County is an ideal microcosm for the bald eagle’s recovery in New Jersey,” said Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director David Wheeler. “We are thrilled to partner with Mercer County Parks, Wildlife Center Friends, Tulpehaking Nature Center, and PSE&G to help connect Mercer County residents with this all-American symbol of the wild right in our own backyards.”
Mercer County cares for more than 10,000 acres of natural land, providing critical habitat for the bald eagle and other threatened wildlife. PSE&G previously provided a grant for public programming and educational outreach to area residents. Mercer County Park Commission and Conserve Wildlife Foundation staff, and volunteers have provided free school field trips, in-school programs, adult lecture series and public nest-viewing opportunities.
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