Bald eagle spotted on Menantic Creek

DON BINDLER PHOTO | Young eagle, possible three years old, spotted feeding in Menantic Creek.

Shelter Island birder and photographer Don Bindler, shooting in fading light on Thursday evening, caught this glimpse of a young bald eagle in a tree on Bay Shore Drive. It had been feeding in the creek but was soon engaged in an “aerial battle with local ospreys and driven away.

Mr. Bindler, of Silver Beach, said he had been notified of the bird’s presence by Bay Shore Drive resident Orhan Birol.

Eagles, once common in the Northeast before DDT weakened eggshells and the population plummeted, have become a less rare sight on Shelter Island in recent years — just like the osprey, which also suffered from the  effects of the insecticide. DDT was banned in the U.S. in the 1970s. Eagles need a larger feeding range than the osprey so their comeback has not been as dramatic.