Wednesday, January 3, 2024

DEC: Tips for spotting bald eagles

A pair of bald eagles

Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at planned observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. Wintering eagles begin arriving in December and concentrations peak in January and February. Most are heading to their nests by mid-March.

The Hudson River, the Upper Delaware River watershed, and sections of the St. Lawrence River are great places to view bald eagles in the winter. DEC maintains two well-marked viewing areas in the Mongaup Valley on the Rio and Mongaup Falls reservoirs.

The following tips will help you to have the best possible experience: 

  • Use binoculars or spotting scopes instead of trying to get a little closer.
  • Don’t do anything to try to make the bird fly.
  • Respect private property and avoid restricted areas.
  • Scan the tree line for eagles that are perched in the tree tops.
  • Look overhead for eagles soaring high in the sky.
  • Arrive early (7 am-9 am) or stay late (4 pm-5 pm), when eagles are most active.
  • Be patient, this is the key to successful viewing.
  • For great photos, view these wildlife photography tips.

Warning: Harassing, disturbing, or injuring a bald eagle is illegal. 

Photo at top: Pair of bald eagles. Photo by Bill Combs Jr. Photo provided by the NYS DEC.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.




3 Responses

  1. Phil Fitzpatrick says:

    Let me emphasize not to make the bird fly. It takes eagles a whole lot of energy to become airborne. That’s energy they can’t afford to waste.

  2. Mike says:

    If you want a good chance at seeing an eagle just drive south out of Tupper Lake. From the Bowling Alley to Moody Bridge they are always around.

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