The Chesapeake Bay is a convergence area for bald eagle populations along the entire Atlantic Coast. In addition to a resident population, migrants move up to the Bay from the Southeast to spend the summer months in the Bay and migrants move down to the Bay from New England and the Canadian Maritimes to spend the winter. The breeding population supported by the Chesapeake is now the largest in eastern North America. This population has been monitored and studied for more than 50 years. The 40-fold recovery from lows in the early 1970s is one of the best documented conservation success stories in our nation’s history. In “Eagles of the Chesapeake” I will discuss eagle ecology within the context of one of the most productive estuaries in the world. I will talk about breeding biology, habitat requirements, nesting substrate, diet, population recovery, future threats and the outlook for the population moving forward. I will also discuss the role of the Chesapeake for migratory populations.
Dr. Bryan D. Watts
Bryan Watts is the Mitchell A. Byrd Professor of Conservation Biology and Director of the Center for Conservation Biology, a research unit shared by the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. He received a B.S. from Virginia Tech, an M.S. from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Watts co-founded and has directed the Center for 20 years and overseen more than 500 research projects, received 350 grant awards, and authored more than 250 publications. Current interests include winter sparrow community structure, bald eagle breeding ecology and population regulation, restoration of imperiled species, ecological economics, ecology of disturbance-prone species, threats to marsh-bird communities, passerine migration ecology, mitigation of hazards within urban landscapes, and the conservation of declining shorebirds.
Drew Vitz, our new state ornithologist, will give a special short presentation on the history of Bald Eagles in Massachusetts. Drew will talk about their extirpation and their steady increase since their reintroduction, up through the 2013 breeding season.
Andrew Vitz earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and his M.S. and Ph.D from Ohio State University, studying the post-fledging ecology of forest songbirds. Drew worked four years as an avian ecologist for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pennsylvania before becoming the Massachusetts State Ornithologist.
Directions to the Congregational Church of West Medford
400 High Street (Route 60) Medford
From the North:
Take I-93 south; take exit 32. Follow Route 60 west (which becomes High
Street) about 1.3 miles to the church, which will be on your left.
From the South:
Take I-93 north through Boston. Take exit 31 west, onto Route 16/Mystic
Valley Parkway to the light at Route 38/Winthrop Street. Turn right onto
Winthrop. One block north go 3/4ths of the way around the traffic
circle, taking Route 60/High Street west about a half mile. The church
will be on your left.
From the West: Conventional wisdom is
to take Route 2 east to Route 60. At the end of the ramp turn left
towards Arlington. Continue on Route 60 east through Arlington center.
You’ll eventually cross the Mystic River, then the B&M tracks, and the
church is a few blocks farther on your right. HOWEVER, Route 60 and
parallel highways leading east from Route 2 can be a parking lot on late
Friday afternoons/early evenings in September.
(Or going west in the morning towards Wachusett.)
Members and friends coming from
the west might actually much sooner by taking the Mass Pike into Boston
and taking Route 93 north, following the direction from the south. Or
take Route 95/128 north to Route 93, and take Route 93 south, following
directions from the north. Though both of these alternatives are longer,
they could be much quicker.
Whatever. You do not want to miss this meeting!
Please note that there is lots of convenient free parking behind the school on the east (Allston St.) side of the church.