It’s been 100 years since bald eagles nested in NYC, but a pair appears to incubating their eggs on the South Shore of Staten Island, says Audubon.
"The presence of these eagles in such a densely populated human environment means two very encouraging things: the local ecosystem is a lot less polluted than it used to be, and the eagle population is getting large enough that some birds are actually getting crowded out of more remote habitats. That’s a big step for a species that appeared to be heading for extinction just a few decades ago," says Audubon.
It certainly is, recovering from just 487 nesting pairs in 1963, thanks to banning DDT and putting them on the Endangered Species List – which stopped hunting and destruction of their habitats.
NYC’s Urban Park Rangers has been returning Bald Eagle chicks to Inwood Hill parks for several years, and now the birds can be seen flying over the Bronx. In fact, Bald Eagle sightings are becoming commonplace in NY and NJ, as is true across their entire range which covers the US. There are about 7000 nesting pairs now.
Bald Eagles have the largest nests, typically 5 feet in diameter. They return year after year, enlarging their nests, which can end up at 9 feet in diameter and weighing two tons!
Read Audubon’s story about how researchers brought the Bald Eagle back to NY State: