The bald eagle was absent from Adirondack skies for nearly three decades before they were reintroduced at Follensby Pond in the 1980s.
In 1981, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation endangered species unit leader Peter Nye traveled to Alaska, one of the few states in the nation with a healthy population of bald eagles, to collect eaglets for release thousands of miles away.
The eaglets traveled via boat across Alaska's open waters, while an airplane waited to take them to the continental U.S.
There was no question what was in these boxes when the eaglets arrived in New York.
NYSDEC endangered species unit wasted no time in bringing the birds to Follensby Pond, the place from which they would later fledge.
The birds were hoisted up to their new homes, known as 'hacking' platforms, where they were fed and monitored until ready to fledge. Electric fences around this compound kept the black bears away from fish that were used to feed the eaglets.
Follensby was chosen as the perfect site for this restoration project because of its habitat, source of food, and isolation. John and Bird McCormick made the opportunity possible and their grandchildren enjoyed watching the birds strike out on the own.
Today, eagles can be seen near many Adirondack lakes. Under Peter Nye’s leadership, New York's bald eagle population has risen from the ashes (1 pair in 1975) to a still growing (145 pairs in 2008), viable population for our citizens to enjoy.
See how eagles have made a comeback in the Adirondacks!