For the third consecutive year, a pair of bald eagles have chosen the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center as their home. Bald eagles were first seen on the campus, which is part of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA), in December 2018 - making them the first known nesting pair of bald eagles in Baltimore City.
Eagles at Masonville have raised four eaglets over the years, and it is expected that more may be raised in the nest this spring. Bald eagles mate for life and often return year after year to the same nest. Mating season typically continues through May.
As the eagles nest, restrictions are put in place to help prevent disturbances. Visitors can still see them from a few unrestricted places on campus, but the easiest way to watch is via online video streaming. MDOT MPA’s partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service installed a camera near the nest, and the live stream is available at www.masonvillecove.org/eagles.
“We want to thank all of our partners for making it easy for the public to monitor these beautiful eagles,” MDOT MPA Director of Harbor Development Kristen Fidler said. “Masonville Cove is home to many different species of birds and wildlife. It’s exciting for the public to be able to watch this nesting pair, especially with the possibility of following any eaglets from egg to fledging in the nest!”
In the mid-1960s Masonville became a dumping ground for tires, steel and other items, including debris from the Great Baltimore Fire. In 2002, the MDOT MPA paired with volunteers, interest groups, nonprofits and local and state representatives to restore and preserve the site. Today, Masonville has the esteemed title of the nation’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership and is home to more than 254 bird species, including the eagles.
Bald eagles have had a remarkable conservation success story of their own. In 1978, they were listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. With better treatment from humans and the banning of a specific type of pesticide, the birds rebounded so well that by mid-2007 they were able to be removed from the Endangered Species list.
The Port of Baltimore is proud to be a part of the birds’ success story and is keeping an eagle eye on Masonville’s happy couple.
Masonville Cove, 1000 Frankfurst Ave., Baltimore, is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Extended hours are offered from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.
Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and are required to adhere to COVID-19 health guidelines that include wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. In addition to the education center, Masonville Cove offers walking trails and a fishing pier. Masonville Cove is also listed on the Baltimore eBird list of hot spots. For more information on Masonville Cove, go to www.masonvillecove.org.