‘Giddy’ Gardeners Spot Bald Eagle in Riverside Park

Photo via Riverside Park Conservancy.

Bald eagles were absent from New York City for a century, and have only begun popping up in the city in the last few years. So when Riverside Park gardeners spotted one in the Woodlands section of the Park (108th-116th Streets) on Tuesday, they were “downright giddy.”

While eagles thrived in the Northeast for much of the 19th century, they began to disappear as humans destroyed their habitats. They were also killed by the insect-control pesticide DDT. But the government banned DDT in 1972 and states have expanded protections for the birds, leading to a comeback.

Birdwatchers have seen eagles here and there in the city in the past decade. The first eagle nest in the city in at least 100 years was spotted in 2015 in Staten Island.

NEWS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. christian Herzeca says:

      beautiful. the last one I saw was looking out the window on the Amtrak line up to Hudson, hanging out at the top of an old dead tree somewhere close to rhinebeck on the banks of the Hudson. takes your breath away

    2. michael says:

      Stunning! So cool!

      But this didn’t just happen. This isn’t random. The repopulation of the American Bald Eagle was accomplished through a deliberate effort to begin taking responsibility for our personal and industrial actions. Sure, those same actions also brought back bedbugs, but I am unaware of any action without consequence.

      Global responsibility is not partisan and it is not new to the people of the United States. Whichever side of the aisle you sit, taking care of our environment is a good thing.

    3. BillyNYC says:

      Spotted a flyby over the great lawn yesterday afternoon as well, extremely fast flying right into the ramble section of central park coming from West 86 street reservoir.

    4. Linda says:


    5. Eln says:

      I’m so excited. Love, love these majestic birds of prey. I have never seen one in nature. I hope I am blessed someday soon to witness them in person.

      • BillyNYC says:

        Best times near 4 PM and sundown by the reservoir and near and around the north-end of the Great Lawn.
        But these regal birds are extremely fast and so quiet. When it flew by me yesterday I didn’t hear a thing, it just caught my eye.

    6. Cyn says:

      Eagle Fest is the best way to learn about and enjoy the bald eagles in our Lower Hudson Valley. It’s an amazing 1 day program for all ages and can be easily accessed by using the Metro North Hudson Line from Grand Central or the 125th St. Stations to the Croton-Harmon Station (less than 1 hr on the express). The host, Teatown Lake Reservation, provides shuttles to and from Croton Point to the festival which is 2 minutes from the train. Here is a link to the event:

    7. Denise B. Dailey says:

      Hurray! We are seeing many more along the East and west branches of the Delaware River in the western Catskills–those and bald eagles.

    8. Anita says:

      This is phenomenal! I’ve been following eagles on line for years – along with our famous NYC hawks. Never saw an eagle in the city before though. They have been nesting on the Palisades for a while – and on most of the islands in the river on the way north to Albany. Yesterday I was driving up the Taconic in Columbia County and there was an eagle perched in a tree scouting for his dinner. Also lots of hawks along the way north. I’ve also had eagles in my field twice in the past two months. They hunt but they also scavenge. I suspect there was a dead something lying out there somewhere. Banning DDT was the turning point in the recovery of the eagles.

      • Riverside biker says:

        I don’t think so…
        Pictures tell the story…two days ago I was at Riverside Park at West 96 Street on my bike and spotted two eagles perched… you’re also being watched by many passerby‘s.
        Then flew east towards central park.

      • BillyNYC says:

        Banned DDT was also the return of the Falcons and the Hawks.
        Quite a few Falcons are also being spotted in the Westside Parks and buildings.
        I hope that large building on W. 69th St. will have housing on top for these beautiful majestic animals.
        It would be an ideal place.