Learn About Ospreys and Eagles from an Expert

Ornithologist James MacDougall and Aria, an eagle-owl, at the Vanderbilt Mansion
Photo by Cheryl MacDougall

The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Refuge Center in Hampton Bays, N.Y., and the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will present Bird Talks this month.

James MacDougall, an ornithologist with the Wildlife Refuge Center, will give the talks, which are included with the price of admission. Free for members.

Visitors can come and learn about the ospreys who spend each summer in the Museum’s Bell Tower and the Bald Eagles that have made a comeback in the Centerport area.

Dates and locations:

Grand Ole Osprey – August 1 and 2, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm and 1:30 to 2:15 pm. Meet in the Courtyard.

After the U.S. banned DDT in 1972, the once-dramatic decline in osprey numbers was reversed and has increased steadily. Today, they are a common sight along the east coast, especially on Long Island. His talk will cover their lifecycle and the threats that face these beautiful summertime visitors.

Eagles at the Nest – August 15 and 16, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm and 1:30 to 2:15 pm. Meet in the Courtyard.

America’s national symbol, the Bald Eagle, has made a miraculous comeback across North America. Hunting, habitat loss, and DDT made the magnificent raptor an endangered species. Now, MacDougall said, after an impressive recovery, the birds’ status has been upgraded to “threatened.” He will discuss the threats that still face Bald Eagles, ways to assist them, and the outlook for their future.

MacDougall is the education coordinator and a rescue transport volunteer with the Wildlife Rescue Center. He works with raptors and other animals and educates visitors about them, and the importance of preserving their environment.

“For many years, I’ve rescued animals as small as bats and hummingbirds and as large as deer and eagles,” he said.

MacDougall has taken courses through the Cornell University Ornithology Lab and has dedicated his free time to studying birds and sharing his love for birds with others in the community.

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