A few thousand people will descend upon Croton Point Park this month for Teatown Reservation’s annual Eaglefest, a celebration of everything related to the white-headed, white-tailed bird.
Fifty years ago, this majestic creature was on the brink of disappearing in New York. Once a year-round home to more than 70 nesting pairs, and a winter home for hundreds more, the state hosted just one nest and a few dozen winter visitors by 1960. Today — thanks to The Bald Eagle Restoration Project, which brought in young bald eagles over the course of 12 years starting in 1976 — more than 170 pairs of eagles call New York their permanent home, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Eagles prefer to live where they can fish, like at the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area. Photo Kevin Kreischer.
Where to View Eagles
Photo by Linda Kantjas
The Hudson Valley, and particularly the Hudson River, is full of eagle activity. Teatown’s Assistant Director of Environmental Stewardship, Danielle Begley-Miller, Ph.D., notes that the River and its banks provide a wealth of food and nesting opportunities that allow the American bald eagle to thrive. “What makes the river a true home to its resident eagles are the dedicated communities that have protected the river and its watershed from polluters and developers since the 1960s,” she adds.
Teatown’s Eaglefest celebrates our national raptor with walks, talks, demonstrations, and scopes set up at viewing posts so visitors can peek at local -nesters. This year’s Eaglefest takes place on Saturday, February 9, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Parking is at Croton Point Park, and a free shuttle bus is available at Croton-Harmon’s Metro-North Station for overflow and for those coming by train. The Eagle Train from Grand Central Terminal will be hosted by a naturalist explaining eagle facts along the way.