Bald Eagle Faces Off With Hawk, As Gawkers Look On

Photo by David Barrett.

An eagle that has recently been spending time in Riverside Park flew to a tree on 110th Street in Riverside Park on Thursday, and was soon joined by companions — including another bird of prey on a nearby branch and a gaggle of humans below.

Eagles have been making a comeback in New York, and the parks department tells us “they like spending their winters in woodland areas along waterways.” But it’s still pretty rare to see them hanging out in a local park, so the appearance of an eagle earlier this week had Riverside Park gardeners feeling “giddy.” The eagle has been attracting crowds, like the group below that gathered below the tree on 110th.

The eagle has quite a fan club. Photo via Riverside Park Conservancy.

The eagle basked in its glory for several minutes until a hawk came by to perch on the very same tree, just a few feet away, according to David Barrett, a birdwatcher who runs the Manhattan Bird Alert twitter account. Barrett spoke to Gothamist while standing under the tree, explaining that “Our Red-tailed Hawks stay in the city and the parks, killing squirrels and birds, so they have different hunting grounds [than bald eagles], which is another reason it is unusual to see both species perching 10 feet apart in a park!”

If the standoff was a true battle of wills — and birds of prey don’t seem to be the joking-around type — the eagle won. because the hawk flew away first.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. ZoomZ says:

      Different sports, but here goes:

      Eagles 1 – Hawks 0

    2. Jeff says:

      Simply fantastic. What else can you say?

    3. BillyNYC says:

      It’s been spotted all day today in Riverside Park and flybys in Central Park at the north end of the Great Lawn feeding at the reservoir… it looks like it’s going to be taking up residence with the female in this area.

    4. Chris B says:

      Bird is the word!

    5. Sarah says:


    6. Stunning says:

      Our bald eagle friend was perched in the pine trees about an hour ago (9:30am) behind the basketball courts in Central Park at West 86 Street.

    7. Paula Bernett says:

      In the last couple of days I have seen first one redtail, then two near the boat basin on the river. beautiful. A couple of days before I couldn’t identify a large bird perching in a tree just south of 79th st in the park toward dusk when the light was low. I wondered if it was an owl — big-bodied.

      • BillyNYC says:

        There is a large number of red tail hawks in the area that you’re reporting on as well in Central Park and very common… What I’m beginning to see are the Falcons showing up on the buildings which mistakenly can be taken as a red tail hawk by some people.

        This is wonderful!!!!
        We have the top three birds of prey living in the largest city in the world!

    8. Michael Servetnick says:

      I don’t care where the bald eagles thrive. As long as we can help them survive. We almost killed them off!!! These are are our nation’s symbols..if u never have gotten a chance to see yourself a favor..MAJESTIC BIRDS!!

    9. Jonathan says: