Bald Eagles nest near Providence
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved. eaglesnest1

Bald Eagles nest near Providence

The following series covers six months, from March-September 2015. For the protection of the eagles, I waited until the adults and fledglings had all left the area to share these photos. If birds do not feel safe in their nest, they may abandon it along with any nestlings inside. Now it is November, the nesting season is completed, and the eagles are migrating south for the winter.

I will not share the exact location of this nest publicly nor privately. If you know the location, I ask that you please do not mention it when linking to this blog or any of my photos. While some people do know the location, they did not hear it from me – and I am proud of that. It’s not an easy secret to keep.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

In March 2013, I was contacted about Bald Eagles constructing a nest just 10 minutes from downtown Providence. When I went to check it out, the nest was occupied by Red-Tailed Hawks, not eagles – so I didn’t return.

In March 2015, I spotted a Bald Eagle in flight and followed it back towards that direction where it surprisingly landed in the old hawk nest – and there was another adult eagle there with it.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

When I checked again in April, there was still an adult sitting the nest…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Of course, I was thrilled. The only known Bald Eagle nest in Rhode Island was at the Scituate Reservoir. Having one just 10 minutes from my downtown apartment was something I never imagined. The nest was on private property so I got in touch with the landowners, explained what I do, and they graciously granted me permission to document the nesting season. Words cannot express my gratitude.

I learned the nest was indeed built and occupied by Red-Tailed Hawks. In 2013 the eagles may have occupied it briefly, but the hawks used it. In 2014 the eagles took over and expanded the nest but left in April without producing any offspring. We hoped for better results this year.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Sunlight reflecting off snow provided great lighting for photography.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

After many weeks we wondered if any eggs were viable or if the adults would soon abandon the nest as they did in 2014.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

But on May 24, one little nestling made its first appearance…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

…and on May 30, there were two – Bald Eagles rarely have more than two offspring per year.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

At this point, an adult was always in or near the nest keeping guard.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

They grew quickly! This shot was on June 7…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

…and this shot was on June 20, just 13 days later…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

On June 30 they were standing and stretching their new wings.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

On lucky visits I would see a parent delivering fresh fish to the nestlings. Males and females look the same, but females are 1/3 larger. Unless they are sitting together, it’s difficult to know which adult was delivering the food.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Strangely, many went to waste because they were dropped and never retrieved. It was interesting to see the variety of the menu.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

A handsome nestling on July 5…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

By late-July, the nestlings were so large, the adults could no longer fit in the nest too…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

…so they would keep watch from a nearby perch.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

“Double Trouble” – by August, they were venturing out of the nest and looking like fierce eagles ready to take flight…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

or maybe a nap instead…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Bald Eagles do not have the characteristic white head until they reach 5 years old.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Branching out…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

“Me and My Shadow” as the sun sets…

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

August 9 was the first time I saw a fledgling in flight, still on the premises.

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

A week later, August 16, they were still there, but should be leaving for good soon

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

Why leave when you have fresh fish being delivered by your parents?

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

I’m told the family stayed around into later September, and by October they were all gone. It was an amazing adventure to document the nesting season – good luck to the entire family!

© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Peter Green. All rights reserved.

45 Comments

  1. Posted 11.10.15 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Great photos, nice to see them nesting in RI again !!

  2. Sandra Wynacht
    Posted 11.10.15 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m blown away!! No mortal’s words can adequately describe the beauty of these photos, the humor and heart that went into this series and the respect
    of the photographer and the property owners for maintaining the integrity of the nesting site and these incredible wonders of nature!!! Thank you!!

    • Posted 07.01.16 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I agree with the words you wrote and agree with the sentiment. These birds are beautiful, as are all creatures! I want to be a bird in a next life…..lol

  3. Bryan Lorber
    Posted 11.10.15 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Magnificent photos! Full of emotion, tears in my eyes….Thanks for posting

  4. Judy McGuire
    Posted 11.10.15 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    WOW, WOW, breathtaking

  5. Christine Francis
    Posted 11.10.15 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Thoughtful and informative series, as always! And the photos are stunning, Thank you so much!

  6. Mary Penedo
    Posted 11.10.15 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely amazing. Thank you for the wonderful photos and sharing them.

  7. Leigh
    Posted 11.10.15 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peter! Thank you, thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us! WOW! Absolutely brilliant chronology of this magnificent avian master! I too have seen the bald eagles in the Providence area and will not reveal where I saw them for fear of being over-run with spectators! I hope these folks let you come back in the Spring so you can share more with us!

  8. Peter Green
    Posted 11.10.15 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for the comments, I sincerely appreciate that you took time to write

  9. Leah
    Posted 11.10.15 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your sensitivity to the needs of the eagles. The photographs are just superb. When I lived in Rhode Island (through 2013), there were no confirmed eagle nests in the state. How wonderful to learn that eagles have returned to Rhode Island.

  10. Diane Pfautz
    Posted 11.10.15 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    This series is phenomenal. You are a master photographer and a very patient person.
    I will enjoy looking at these photos many times. Bravo Peter.

  11. Jan
    Posted 11.10.15 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Peter, this was amazing to see. You are so lucky to have seen them and we are now lucky to have “seen” them too through your awesome photography! I can’t thank you enough. I look forward to seeing them someday where I live in Rhode Island, but for now I’ll continue to hope and pray they continue reproducing successfully in our state. And just in time for Veteran’s Day, you rock!

  12. Kathy Schnabel
    Posted 11.10.15 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Magnificent photos, Peter!!
    It certainly is a privilege to be able to view, observe and photograph a part of this majestic birds life and their family. Thank you for sharing, Peter!

  13. Chuck Marsters
    Posted 11.10.15 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Phenomenal quality pictures, of the great comeback King!!! I have seen these birds through two years of successful family process/development of this amazing Eagle. I get so excited over the pictures we all share, but yours are the Best ever! Thank you for sharing!

  14. Rebecca G
    Posted 11.10.15 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Amazing pictures! Our little state is lucky to have these birds and a great photographer to document them.

  15. Miss Tinker
    Posted 11.10.15 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Mr Green we first met at the Cathedral of St. John. Dean Krauss admired your work so much. Thank you for keeping me on your contact list. Amazing photos! I live in North Providence now I have not seen any eagles but lots of hawks and of course swans in the lakes. Take care and the best to you always. Many Blessings Miss Tinker

    • Renee
      Posted 11.11.15 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Yay Ms Tinker. Remember when Mr. Greens shot at the Cathedral?
      Great pics!!!

  16. Rebek
    Posted 11.10.15 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Your marvelous photo narrative of the lives of this young eagle family really brightened my day. It made me realize how eagles are often typecast into such a limited range of visual images – and almost always depicted as lone mature adults. Terrific work for opening up my perspective, Peter!

  17. David O'Brien
    Posted 11.11.15 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Peter as usual, you have done a phenomenal job of creating a secret masterpiece. The photography is amazing. Keeping the secret of the location is amazing and you are amazing. Providence is lucky to have someone shooting nature photography and sharing it.

  18. Posted 11.11.15 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Peter, I was surprised to be so deeply, emotionally affected by these photos and this beautiful story. What a unique and incredible experience for you – and now for all of us. Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Alice
    Posted 11.11.15 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The pictures and the story are just plain amazing, as are you, Peter. I have chills.

  20. Fern Levitt
    Posted 11.11.15 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Amazing! What a beautiful family saga. Good luck and good health to the family!

  21. Bob Raphael
    Posted 11.11.15 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your artistry, your patience and your discretion. These magnificent creatures are worthy of recoding and respect. Your photos do both.

  22. Laura
    Posted 11.11.15 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Great series of the bald eagles and babies!

  23. Christine
    Posted 11.11.15 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Very beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing! I hope I am lucky enough someday to see a RI eagle.

  24. joannecolsen
    Posted 11.11.15 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Karen Winsor shared these beautiful images . While looking at them I became teary…such incredible beauty! Thank you!

  25. bill rappleye
    Posted 11.11.15 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    can’t imagine better shots, or a more complete documentation of the season. terrific job. there also seems to be a pair in the East Bay, unless these guys were hanging out in Warren too.
    thank-you for sharing

  26. Tess Kostisn
    Posted 11.11.15 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    This is stunning Peter! Jut incredible, I could never have dreamed of having a better mentor. I hope they return for you next year! Hope you’re all well!

  27. Mike Yarworth
    Posted 11.11.15 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures and story. I live in Wakefield and have seen them around Indian Lake and Narrow River. Just last week we had an adult hang around my farm, blue moon farm, for over an hour. We noticed a roadkill rabbit on the side of the road, we figured that was the attraction. Amazing sight, unfortunately all I had was a cell phone camera.

  28. mary bonaventure
    Posted 11.11.15 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing these absolutely beautiful photos and more importantly, keeping the nesting site unknown. Living in Scituate, I witnessed the circus of cars and photographers when the eagles were nesting here.
    Well done and thank you again for sharing!

  29. Mark
    Posted 11.11.15 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Nice job this year Peter, let’s hope they come back so you get more great photos

  30. Lynn Chappell
    Posted 11.11.15 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Amazing!! Love your work. Thank you so much for sharing.

  31. Patrycja Dubielecka
    Posted 11.11.15 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Chapeau bas Peter!

  32. Barbara
    Posted 11.12.15 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing these amazing photos!

  33. Susan Anderson
    Posted 11.12.15 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Awesome pics, Peter! You were so privileged to connect with that family of eagles; it’s an experience that you’ll treasure forever!
    Thanks for sharing! :-)

  34. Tracey
    Posted 11.12.15 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Fantastic! Thank you, and so happy to see nesting pairs again

  35. Dorian
    Posted 11.12.15 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow, gorgeous photos. I so appreciate the respect you’ve shown in not disclosing the nest location, and that of the homeowners who graciously allowed you to do a photo essay of the nesting season. Your photos are absolutely stunning. We are lucky enough to see Bald Eagles (juveniles and adults) from time to time on Indian Lake in South Kingstown. We just saw one today, in fact! It is a privilege to see “your” brood so up close and personal! Thank you. Peter!

  36. Donna
    Posted 11.13.15 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Peter, WOW, you have done it again with your photographic talent!! Amazing pics of your beautiful Eagles! Thanks so much for sharing!

  37. Carol
    Posted 11.17.15 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful photos coupled with an excellent educational piece. I will share with my grandson.

  38. Posted 11.17.15 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Awesome observations & imagery Peter, all the best to you, Cheers, Will

    • Maureen Eldridge
      Posted 11.17.15 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      I have no words just tears. After this weekend in Paris, these photos bring back a sense of joy, and yes humanity. Thank you! I needed this

  39. Judith Sonder
    Posted 11.17.15 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    These are simply extraordinary. Even more extraordinary is your commitment to protect these gorgeous creatures from prying eyes. As a ranger at a conservation area, I’ve seen the destruction of birds and habitat that the uninformed hordes can create. Thank you thank you for all your work and respect.

  40. Posted 11.21.15 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic shoot and narration of one our favorite birds of prey. Thank You, for sharing Wayne G. Barber, Author, Photographer, Producer, Director, Radio Host of the ‘Outdoor Scene” on wnri.com 1380am

  41. Deb
    Posted 12.30.15 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Truly amazing.
    Thank YOU, for sharing!!
    No words for this “awesomeness”!! ❤️

  42. Maria
    Posted 07.01.16 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I find myself returning to your site and just looking at the photos. They are really fascinating and beautiful. Great Job!!! Looking at them brings such peacefulness and enjoyment. Thank you.

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