Bald Eagles on Squam Lake
Bald Eagles first nested on Squam Lake in 2003. They initially built a nest on the top of a pine on Little Loon Island. After the nest failure in 2013 a new male took over the territory and built a new nest on Long Island in 2014. In 2020, the pair moved to a new nest on Big Loon Island and in 2022, they built a new nest on Long Island.
In October 2020, the female eagle was found mortally injured on an island on Wickwas Lake and subsequently died. The cause of death was determined to likely be from a fight with another eagle. This location is well outside her territory and means perhaps that she was ousted from her breeding territory and was roaming into other territories. She was hatched/banded in 1999 at Little Quabbin Island in Ware, MA. She was breeding at the nest on Squam since 2003 and raised 26 chicks. The leading cause of mortality in NH’s wild Bald Eagles is fatal injuries from fights with other eagles – a sign of a healthy population with plenty of young fit eagles ready to take over territories.
New Hampshire has a growing population of nesting bald Eagles. In 2022, Chris Martin form NH Audubon provided the following state update: "92 TERRITORIAL PAIRS of Bald Eagles were located in NH, up nearly 14% compared to 2021. 72 PAIRS were confirmed INCUBATING, up more than 7% from 2021. We counted 51 SUCCESSFUL NESTS, which was down 4% compared with the prior year. And we tallied 84 YOUNG FLEDGED, up almost 4% over the 81 fledglings produced in both 2019 and in 2021. This year’s totals for territorial pairs, pairs incubating, and young fledged all set new state-record highs for the post-DDT era. If the present population growth rate continues for the rest of this decade, NH will have 200 territorial pairs of Bald Eagles by 2030!"
Squam Lake Bald Eagle Nesting Success:
- 2022 - 2 chicks fledged
- 2021 - Too late to nest
- 2020 - 3 chicks fledged
- 2019 - Nest failed in early April.
- 2018 - Nest failed after hatch. Possibly due to predation.
- 2017 - Nesting attempt failed in April after nest damaged in winter
- 2016 - 3 chicks fledged
- 2015 - Nest failed
- 2014 - 3 chicks fledged
- 2013 - Nest failed due to severe ice storm in late April
- 2012 - 3 chicks fledged
- 2011 - 3 chicks fledged
- 2010 - 2 chicks fledged
- 2009 - 2 chicks fledged
- 2008 - 2 chicks fledged
- 2007 - Pair used alternate nest on Long Island, failed with eggs or small chicks
- 2006 - 2 chicks fledged
- 2005 - 2 chicks fledged
- 2004 - 1 chick fledged
- 2003 - 1 chick fledged