Bald Eagle on Merrimack River in Concord

Fish for breakfast? You bet.

Dave Anderson, Ellen Kenny | April 13, 2020
A bald eagle looks into the dark waters of the Merrimack River from the shore.

Bald Eagle fishing in the shallow of the Merrimack River in Concord. (All photos by Ellen Kenny)

The golden eagle atop the NH State House dome in Concord isn't alone in the skies over the State Capitol. Photographer and naturalist Ellen Kenny recently captured images of a mature Bald Eagle catching a fish from the banks of the Merrimack River.

Ellen captured a really nice sequence of bald eagle images using a long lens and a LOT of experience, patience and familiarity with the local wildlife habitats and inhabitants.

The successful fishing trip yields what appears to be a white perch, a common warmwater fish species. Eagles have become much more numerous in NH during both the winter eagle census and the summer breeding seasons.

Ellen Kenny photo

Audubon Society of New Hampshire Senior Raptor Biologist, Chris Martin adds: "most adult bald eagles (in NH) are nesting now, and hatching is underway. This Concord eagle is likely one of the pair that nests within sight of 'Horseshoe Pond' located along the floodplain of the Merrimack River."

Fishing can be challenging during the April high water conditions in the main stem of the river.

But as backwater channels fill, there are new opportunites to exploit the food source when fish travel into these shallows.

Eagle on perch. Ellen Kenny photo.

Speaking of "perch" - the eagle obliged with a photo portrait while perched in a tree and vocalizing.

Bald Eagles do NOT sound how many people assume. 

According to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology "For such a powerful bird, the Bald Eagle emits surprisingly weak-sounding calls—usually a series of high-pitched whistling or piping notes." 

To listen to Bald Eagle vocalizations, visit the Cornell Lab ornithology library here:

Bald Eagle vocalizing. Photo Ellen Kenny