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 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.
The Riverside Park standoff ended with the Red-tailed Hawk flying off first. Then, within ten minutes, the Bald Eagle also exited, toward the Hudson River. pic.twitter.com/tw1S6DUyMq
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) January 23, 2020