There’s still plenty of time to get out and look for bald eagles this winter in the New York area, and I thought a map of the Hudson River region with some hot spots would be helpful. Click on it to view it larger:
Let me first mention my first post on EagleFest last weekend, to give you some background. Point “A” is Croton Point Park, a state park off Route 9A (near Route 9) that serves as the central location for Teatown’s EagleFest event. It’s a nice park and a good spot to see an eagle (one flew over our car when we just drove into the parking lot that day). You can actually walk right out to the end of that point and have a spectacular view south down the Hudson.
Next to the park is the Croton-Harmon MetroNorth train station, and believe it or not, it’s a prime spot to see eagles if you drive down toward the water. If you live in the city, you can actually take a train from Grand Central up here to the station very easily. Better to drive though.
The Croton Resevoir dam is another impressive view and you can often see eagles and hawks buzzing around the lake or in trees (bring binoculars).
George’s Island Park, Montrose and Verplanck also offer good spots. Charles Point Park is a great spot, it’s right next to Indian Point power plant and has a long wooden pier you can walk out onto — this is definitely a place to hit, we see lots of birds here.
If you continue driving north, you’ll eventually get to the Bear Mountain Bridge — before the bridge is a scenic overlook that looks down on Iona Island and the Hudson, another good spot (there are some signs there with eagle viewing locations).
Across the river in Rockland is Bowline Park, in Haverstraw. You can drive right down to the water and are bound to see eagles flying overhead. A great spot here is when driving in, there is a bend and some high grass between the road and river — along the banks of the Hudson, there are usually eagles up in the trees.
You really want to see an eagle? Stop by Bear Mountain State Park, which is near West Point. You can park at the Bear Mountain Inn ($7 to park) and walk across the street to the zoo, which is free but has a suggested $1 donation I believe. The zoo offers some cool animals (coyotes, an otter, various hawks, owls, three bears and, toward the end of the zoo, a bald eagle. You can walk right up to the eagle and get some cool photos (above). The zoo also has some fish and turkeys.
Of course, really any roads near the Hudson at this time of year can be good for eagles. In Rockland, the reservoir in Pearl River (near the Blue Hill golf course) is a good spot. Eagles have also been seen this year in West Nyack.
Teatown has some great maps with all these locations (and more) labled with directions, you might want to contact them and ask for a map, they might mail you a copy (it has my eagle photo on the cover!!!) Here again is more info on the annual event.
Hope that was helpful — good luck! Let me know if you spot any or have any other spots or advice to share.