I know that seeing a bald eagle is pretty common in Connecticut for most who visit the Shepaug Dam in Southbury, it's been the hotspot for years, but I saw my first just this past Summer. Have American Bald Eagles become more common around here? According to the State of Connecticut, yes.

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Connecticut Fish and Wildlife just posted results from the 2023 Midwinter Eagle Survey conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers, which monitors the population of Wintering bald eagles across the United States. The survey shows that 185 eagles overall were observed within our borders from 160 observation points across Connecticut. Of the 185 eagles, there were 121 adults, and 60 immature. 221 volunteers across Connecticut participated in this study.

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Where can you see them? Shepaug Dam in Southbury is where most of my friends have, but the Audubon Society of Connecticut suggests:

Greenwich Point Park, the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Gillette Castle, and the appropriately named Eagle Landing State Parks in Haddam, Rocky Hill Ferry Park, the Wethersfield Cove area, King's Island boat launch in Enfield, Tunxis Mead State Park in Farmington, West River Memorial Park in New Haven, Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Mansfield Hollow State Park, and at the Quinebaug Valley Fish Hatchery in Plainfield.

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Audubon.org estimates the bald eagle population to be 200,000, and you'll typically see an eagle close to water. I saw my first bald eagle along the Naugatuck River in my backyard in Torrington. Why do eagles stay near water? Prey is abundant. The hard work that all of those volunteers did at the Shepaug Dam cleaning up the site over the Summer of 2023 is working, thank you for your effort.

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