The Story of the Bald Eagles of Centerport, NY
The story of the Bald Eagles Of Centerport is a story of hope which has in turn brought a community together. Fortunately in 1972 a National Ban was made on the pesticide DDT that almost decimated many forms of wildlife.
Due to this ban and due to the NYS DEC implementing a ‘Hacking Program’ to increase the population of eagles in NYS the successful growth of the eagle population continues to be multiplying each year. https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9381.html
The story of the Bald Eagles of Centerport is told daily through the lenses of a group of photographers that fell in love with a pair of eagles in 2017. The wonderful friendships and relationships among the community and photographers are unique to the Bald Eagles of Centerport. When the eagles were spotted in 2017, Rob Schwartz created the Bald Eagles of Centerport Facebook group with the hopes of capturing and sharing the lives of this incredible pair with others. This group is strong and grows everyday. As to date there are over 15,500 followers.
After spotting the eagles early in 2017, Rob just figured it was a fluke chance and honestly didn't know if he was actually looking a Bald Eagle. After sometime he came to realize that these birds were indeed eagles, and they were not only here (close to being in his back yard) but were nesting only 100's of feet from his home. At that time, he didn't own a camera and basically had no experience with birds of prey. As he frequented the pond, he noticed more and more photographers flocking to the area with their long lenses.
It was then that he thought that it would be wonderful to share the story of the Bald Eagles of Centerport with his community. He began reading up on bald eagles and realized that this bald eagle pair was very unique in terms of their location, affording many people with a glimpse of their state bird in action right in Centerport!
Rob attempted some point and shoot pictures to document the birds, but soon realized that his photos gave no justice to the majestic birds he had come to love so much. Thanks to Nancy Viscardi-Ricigliano. ( https://www.facebook.com/nancy.viscardiricigliano ) an amazing photographer, Rob was able to upload some of her incredible photos of the eagles in action onto the newly created Facebook group "Bald Eagles of Centerport".
After setting up the Facebook page, Rob soon realized that these eagles were becoming a perfect educational tool for his community as well as a sense of pride for his community members.
In 2018 with the donations of many followers a Live Cam was installed close to the nest which gave the community, followers and the photographers a live close up view of our eagles on you tube and on the Facebook page. This live cam afforded the viewers the opportunity to watch 3 sets of eaglets grow and fledge from Centerport.
In the beginning Rob would head over to the bridge to watch the many photographers in awe as they captured the hunting prowess, preening and territorial disputes in the air. It wasn’t long before Rob and his wife became interested in photography and joined the photographers capturing the daily movements of this pair shot. Rob also learned that not only photographers with gigantic lenses frequented the bridge, but families, birders, visitors from different states and towns and even dog walkers would come to Mill Pond or to the nest area just to catch a glimpse of Mom Eagle teaching her Eaglet to fish or an eaglet taking it's first leap of faith off the nest to fly free for the very first time. Truly nature at it’s best!
Over the last 5 years, the Bald Eagles of Centerport have been exceptionally successful at raising 13 eaglets, which we called C1-C13. *We do not name the eagles, we designate a ‘C’ for Centerport and the number for the order in which they were born* and 3 eaglets alone in 2020. All of the eaglets have gone on to fledge to hopefully find a mate and maybe one day they might even come back in 4 or 5 years to nest in someone else's backyard!
In a world of uncertainty, these eagles serve as a shot of true patriotism. The American Bald Eagles equates with USA and tolerance. Politics aside, this group and the story remains without sponsorship or political bias/influence - it's just Americans that have come together rooting on this very prestigious eagle pair!
In 2019 a group of core photographers came together to create the 1st Edition Eagle Calendar to sell to their members. 50% of the profits went to Boots on the Ground, a non-profit organization that sent care packages to the troops overseas, while the other 50% of the profits raised went to a non-profit Wildlife Rescue and Rehab group called WINORR.
In 2021 the core group of photographers once again created an eagle calendar with 100% of the profits going to WINORR. As to date the photographers have raised over 11,300 to assist WINORR with costs to feed, rescue, house and rehabilitate injured wildlife. Our goal as a group of photographers is to continue to pay it forward. We have been blessed to have these eagles nesting in our area, and we want our community to know that we appreciate their support in raising money for non-profit organizations that make a difference in our community.
Combined over the two years of calendar sales, the photographers have been able to raise over $16,300 for non-profit groups. To purchase a 2023 calendar, please (Go Here)
As of 2020, the lives of this incredible pair continues to be told on the Bald Eagles of Centerport Facebook page. The photos continue to get better and better and there are many people with new a found passion in photography due to this handsome couple.
If you would like to purchase a photo shown in the photographer’s portfolio on this site, please feel free to contact them! Visit the daily on-going activities of our eagles on our Facebook group. The story continues right here! - https://www.facebook.com/groups/baldeaglesofcenterportNY/