The 2015 Duke Farms Bald Eagle nesting season had bad weather for bookends -- from the record cold temperature in February to the the lightning strike that recently disabled the Eagle Cam. As the season comes to a close, what better way to salute the two young Bald Eagles in Duke Farms Class of 2015 than to look back at the past 20 weeks, from the snows of winter to the boisterous eaglets of June? It's hard to believe that nearly five months have passed since Duke Farms posted the first dispatch about the 2015 Bald Eagle nesting season, and that the blog posts about the 2015 Bald Eagles are now coming to a close. Being part of the extended family of Duke Farms eagle followers has been a rewarding experience -- I can't thank everyone enough for sharing their enthusiasm. This year, this blog has had more than 52,000 page views from folks in more than 60 countries. I hope they have enjoyed learning about America's resilient Bald Eagles as much as I have. Keep an eye out for the free downloadable eBook "The Bald Eagles of Duke Farms," due next winter in time for the 2016 nesting season. Below are 20 images -- one from each week of nesting season through mid-June, plus one of a young Duke Farms eaglet in flight. In closing, I wish to thank the following for generously sharing their expertise: Larissa Smith of Conserve Wildlife Foundation, Kathy Clark of N.J.s Endangered and Nongame Species Program, Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac, Bill Streeter of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, and Diane Cook of the Copper Hill School in Ringoes. Finally, I'd like to thank Michael Catania, Nora Wagner, Thom Almendinger, Charles Barreca and all of the other wonderful folks at Duke Farms for their invaluable help.
Jim Wright writes The Bird Watcher columnist for The Record and the Herald-News. He is the author of four coffee-table books about wild places, and the deputy marsh warden of the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, N.J.