The Nature Conservancy confirmed Tuesday that a pair of bald eagles is nesting at its Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island—the third known nesting site on Long Island of late.
According to the Nature Conservancy, the nest is tucked away in an oak tree in a remote part of the preserve. “Bald eagles have recently become a regular sight on Shelter Island,” said Mike Scheibel, the Nature Conservancy preserve manager for Mashomack, who discovered the next. “We are extremely pleased to find them nesting on the Mashomack Preserve where years ago The Nature Conservancy preserved this land as a secure nesting area for ospreys. It is indeed rewarding to know that this valuable habitat is now also home to our national symbol.”
The 2,039-acre Mashomack Preserve includes 12 miles of coastline and covers a third of Shelter Island. The Nature Conservancy purchased the reserve 34 years ago.
“The fact that bald eagles are nesting at Mashomack speaks to the value of preserved land and its significance for wildlife,” Mashomack Preserve director Michael Laspia said. “We couldn’t be happier that our national bird is gracing us with its presence—and we hope this majestic species has a successful season rearing its young here.”
According to the Nature Conservancy, the bald eagle is an opportunistic feeder and subsists mainly on fish. Although they are capable of catching live fish, bald eagles are primarily scavengers feeding on dead fish found on the beach or stolen from ospreys.