( Log Out /  Eagles are great fishermen but hey, none of God's creations are perfect. Conowingo Dam: Great spot to see Bald Eagles - See 140 traveller reviews, 133 candid photos, and great deals for Darlington, MD, at Tripadvisor. Photographers Conowingo is considered to be one of the best places to watch Bald Eagles for its large concentration of eagles, with the sun nearly always behind the viewer. The dam itself was built between 1926 and 1928 by the Arundel Corporation, at the behest of the Philadelphia Electric Company. The same nest may be used for several years in a row, until it collapses from storms, or the branches supporting it break under its weight. ( Log Out /  Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Bring a lunch too. Propelled by the rapid steady strokes of its long powerful wings, a bald eagle zooms over the tops of trees at the edge of the cliff overlooking the river valley below. Conowingo Dam Photographing Bald Eagles will be one of the best destinations for your bird portfolio. PHOTOGRAPHERS Conowingo is considered to be one of the best places to watch Bald Eagles because of the favorable viewing conditions as the sun is nearly always behind the viewer and the large concentration of eagles. Photo of Stafford Flint Furnace courtesy of the author. At the time, it was the second-largest hydroelectric power plant in the United States in terms of output, bested only by Niagara Falls. Still plenty of eagles around, but fishing is hard for them with the churning water. The reservoir provides drinking water for the City of Baltimore and the Chester Water Authority, as well as cooling water for the Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station—not to mention habitat for fish and wildlife, and opportunities for boating, fishing, and birdwatching. The decline and resurgence of the bald eagle population is one of the most resounding success stories in the history of wildlife management. All the leaves have long since turned brown and dropped off, leaving the branches bare, belying the new life waiting to burst forth with the coming of spring. COST: FREE PARKING: There is plenty of parking on most days. No other bird in North America can possibly be mistaken for an adult bald eagle. Of course, the Bald Eagles are the stars of the show, even though I was told warblers bring in many bird watchers, (some birdwatchers seen in the gallery below). Amazing. This furnace is the only remnant of the once-thriving town of Stafford, which got its start in 1749 with the construction of the Rock Forge, an iron forge built by entrepreneur George Rock. CONOWINGO — Fisherman’s Park at the Conowingo Dam has quietly become the hottest spot East of the Mississippi River to view the ... the trees above the parking lot can be teeming with eagles. Went back on 2 Jan 2021 and saw so many eagles. We will congrgrate at the viewing platform closer to the dam. “Snack Time” with the catch above the Conowingo Dam parking lot.. For the past few years there has been much debate over the viability of the damn with some environmental groups wanting to see it removed and the dam’s existence is certainly in question as are other structures further upstream. Subsequent research confirmed that DDE, a metabolite of DDT, does indeed cause eggshell thinning, in a direct dose-dependent fashion, at least in the American kestrel, a smaller relative of the bald eagle. I recently visited Conowingo Dam which spans the Susquehana River between Maryland and Pennsylvania. During major floods caused by large storms, powerful floodwaters can scoop out or “scour” the stored sediment behind the dam … The Annual Bald Eagle Festival sponsored by the Conowingo Power Dam last weekend usually draws many bald eagle viewers and photographers. Bald eagles are not averse to carrion, and have been observed dining on dead animals, including beached whales. This area is considered one of the best spots in the eastern United States for viewing our national bird, the bald eagle. Scientists suspected that DDT might be the culprit. Here you can see our national symbol everywhere from November to February, but bird watchers see hundreds of species of birds throughout the year. Some guys had 50K in equipment. The reason some countries stopped using DDT to control mosquitoes was because overuse of that pesticide led to the development of resistance – just as Rachel Carson had warned. Follow it through the inspection gate and make a left to the parking area. On GWGT I have more info and closeup images. It will be very cold there this weekend. Good to see this blog too. Conowingo Dam’s Fisherman’s Park. Octoraro Creek Trail at Conowingo Park. I am treading on what used to be the canal towpath, now covered in fine gravel to make a comfortable walking surface. On GWGT, How to Tell Young Eagles From Adults. Bald Eagle Conowingo Dam, Darlington, MD . Beyond that is the side of the river valley, rising up abruptly, almost vertically, forming a high wall, thickly forested and strewn with giant boulders. The Conowingo Dam is located in the Northeastern region of Maryland, which is about 9.9 miles (16 km) from the river mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and about 5 miles (8 km) south of the Pennsylvania border, and 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Baltimore. : This area would give you a wider view of the Dam from the top. 1775 Susquehanna River Road (MD Route 222), Conowingo, MD 21918 (410) 996-8101. I’ve never seen a bald eagle in the wild (only at the zoo). A bald eagle once was observed carrying away a fawn weighing fifteen pounds, and bald eagles can attack and kill adult deer and pronghorn. Customarily the eagle makes its kill by stabbing its victim in the back with its razor-sharp talons, closing its digits around the spinal cord and puncturing the aorta. Their nests, usually built from 50 to 150 feet above the ground, may be up to thirteen feet across and eight feet deep, and may weigh as much as three tons. popular place to view the eagles particularly at the base of the dam. Details Details Visitors can learn about the history of Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station, the role of hydroelectricity as a renewable clean energy source and the ecology, wildlife and recreational activities that exist in the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed. Get Directions. It really is great to see so many in action. EDIT: yes, it's Eagle Day Saturday. Parking at 6.30 AM already pretty far from main area. Also, isn’t it Eagle Day Saturday? The encounter takes only a few seconds, but there is no doubt as to what I saw. Visitors easily see Bald Eagles, up to 100 of them, from the viewing platforms and paved walkway of the park. 1st visit was in Dec 2020. Photo Tips for First TIme Visitors to Conowingo Dam; The following piece is aimed at newer photographers that are preparing for their first trip to Conwoingo Dam to see the eagles as they flock to the dam in the winter. This paved observation parking lot is near the Conowingo … Parts of what used to be the canal are low enough to catch the rainwater in temporary pools, still covered in ice and festooned with duckweed. How Do Eagles Eat When the Lakes are Covered in Ice? Take the very windy road for 0.7 miles to Shure’s Landing and make a very sharp left. Where: Public access to the base of the dam is at 2569 Shures Landing Road, Darlington, Maryland. My husband is a wildlife photographer that specializes in bird photography. Once a bird catches a fish, eagles descend from the trees and towers in chase (above). For youth group primitive camping at Glen Cove, call the Glen Cove marina at 410-836-3761. The generation schedule can be accessed by the following phone numbers. Great information. Get Directions. Lychenheim, who used to work on the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA, started the Conowingo Bald Eagles Facebook page nine years ago to provide tips for viewing eagles at the dam. This area also provides access to the river and is a popular fishing location. In addition to powering homes and businesses, the Conowingo Dam produces economic and environmental benefits for both the state and local communities throughout the region. Maybe I could if I owned some of the fancy optical technology deployed by my fellow bird-watchers, but I don’t, so I elect to begin walking along the Lower Susquehanna River Trail, beginning the trail from the south end of the parking lot, to see what I can see there. There are five main shooting locations at Conowingo dam. Join us for a special photo expedition to Conowingo Dam - an amazing place to see bald eagles in the wild, catching fish on the river. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 1. The trail is great. Up to 11 species of gulls also gather at the dam from mid-October through mid-March, but other birds such as great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, black vultures, terns, osprey, cormorants, anhingas, and ducks may also be seen. The area is an extremely popular area to view Bald Eagles. Get ready for the Spring Shad Run At Conowingo!! They are just wonderful to photograph when feeding. It is not uncommon to see 150 eagles when the shad are running. A variety of factors were responsible, including habitat destruction, legal and illegal hunting, and lead poisoning from lead shot. Drive to Conowingo Dam, park at Susquehanna State Park, then take a five mile run while watching for bald eagles. Every winter well over 100 Bald Eagles gather at Conowingo Dam, along the lower Susquehanna River in northern Maryland to feast on fish which are sucked through the giant turbines as this dam generates electricity for the Baltimore area. I think if I had advice to offer, it would be spend more than an hour here. How wonderful! I hope you get to see many eagles. The kids joined seasoned photographers along the river bank all vying for a prime viewing location. People travel from all over to view and photograph the birds. The wildlife park is run and maintained by Exelon Corporation, the owner of the hydroelectric plant. Share your experiences in the comments. Eventbrite - Dan's Camera City presents Bald Eagles of Conowingo Dam - Photo Expedition - Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - Find event and ticket information. Entrance to the Dam: There are no entrance fees to the dam parking lot or observation areas. The wildlife park is run and maintained by Exelon Corporation, the owner of the hydroelectric plant. The trail ends at Stafford Road, just beyond the furnace. That is still more than I see here, but nothing compared when the migrating eagles pass through. When … I really needed more than two days here. The dam is equipped with 11 turbines with a combined generating capacity of 572 megawatts. Moreover, 300 American Bald Eagles gather at the Conowingo Dam annually by Thanksgiving, which serves as a major breeding, nesting, and foraging ground. Did the trail and saw several eagles on the trail in the trees. Here you can see our national… Conowingo offers easy and accessible eagle watching and photography, especially in late fall and winter. Bald Eagles gather at Conowingo Dam, along the lower Susquehanna River in northern Maryland to fight for fish We hiked 4.2 miles along a former rail line from the parking lot at the Carter-Archer Museum to the dam. At any rate, in the years subsequent to the EPA ban on DDT, the population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states rebounded dramatically, from a low of 412 breeding pairs in 1963 to over 11,000 breeding pairs by 2007, at which point the bald eagle was removed from the list of threatened and endangered species. Is there a place where old folks can drive and sit and still view birds and eagles? CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY SCOTT SERIO A bald eagle soars, with a fish in its grasp, near the Conowingo Dam. Today, the dam is operated by the Susquehanna Electric Corporation, part of the Exelon Power Corporation. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Bald Eagle Conowingo Dam, Darlington, MD . I love how easily you give us the details to make for a great trip….I am amazed at all the people and amenities there. More than half of the bald eagle’s diet consists of fish. The photo to the right was shot at 380 mm. Here is a link to a site for directions to Conowingo Dam. This spot is ideal for silhouette sunrise shots of the eagles. Google Maps. For groups of six or more, call toll-free 1-833-257-8687. For groups of six or more, call toll-free 1-833-257-8687. We got to witness some fishing by the Eagles. Wild Kingdom right in front of you! Good God…Look at that guy’s camera! Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback Past the 1.75 mile marker, the trail makes an abrupt 90-degree angle turn to the right and passes over a wooden footbridge straddling the canal. The wildlife park is run and maintained by Exelon Corporation, the owner of the hydroelectric plant. A solitary bicyclist whizzing past is the only other human being in sight. What a wonderful experience and privilege to capture, I so wish I could have been there, I love these one off captures, they are so special to us! But if you really want to see a lot of eagles at one time, up close, diving for — and often fighting over — fish, […] Nearly 200 million tons of sediment pollution have accumulated behind the dam. Water is churning out of the floodgates, and hundreds of seagulls are circling overhead. It is quite the show. My wife and I got up at 4:00 this morning to go see the Eagles at Conowingo. We got there around 7 am and all was quiet. At this time of year (late fall), eagles congregate in large numbers providing a great photography opportunities for bird photographers. I first discovered the richness of Susquehanna State Park by accident a few years ago, while on one of my frequent Bald Eagle quests to the Conowingo Dam in northeastern Maryland. Boat launch. With the remarkable comeback of the bald eagle nationwide in the last couple of decades, few Lancaster County residents have not seen the majestic raptor at one time or another. Next year, I will plan a week and bring a longer lens. The eagle alights on one of the trees for a moment, then takes to the air again, wheeling in a great semi-circle before soaring over the crest and disappearing from view. The water edge level. HOW TO FREEZE THIS MOMENT? The dam is a massive concrete edifice, 4,648 feet long and 105 feet high. CONOWINGO — Fisherman’s Park at the Conowingo Dam has quietly become the hottest spot East of the Mississippi River to view the ... the trees above the parking lot can be teeming with eagles. The word “Conowingo” is Susquehannock for “at the rapids.” This area was also once known as Smyth’s Falls, after the explorer John Smith, who mapped the region in 1612. Tour attendees will park in the Shuresville Road parking lot and take a bus to the Conowingo Dam. Visitors easily see Bald Eagles, up to 100 of them, from the viewing platforms and paved walkway of the park. Past the 2 mile marker, I come across a 20-foot high stone tower topped with a brick dome. The Octoraro Creek Trail is a delightful spot for a short bird walk and because of its strategic location, holds more diversity than you might think. Please drive slowly and watch for small children/pedestrians. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. On Saturday, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Exelon will host this year's Eagle Day at the Conowingo Dam Fisherman's Wharf and Park below the dam. Public outcry from a burgeoning environmental movement, sparked in part by Carson’s book, led the EPA to ban DDT for domestic use in 1972, with some exceptions allowed for public health. Conowingo Dam address: 2569 Shures Landing Road, Darlington, Maryland 21034. Its western side is topped by a fantastically ornate steely gray tiara of transformers and God knows what else. Parking: There is ample free parking at Fisherman’s Park from the boat ramp to the observation platform, and at … Keeping an eye on the eagles perched on the towers lets you anticipate their fishing runs. 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