In the 19th and early 20th-centuries, New York was home to more than 70 pairs of nesting bald eagles. By the 1960s, the state had only one known active bald eagle nest remaining. Hunting, competition for habitat, and widespread use of dangerous new chemicals resulted in the near destruction of the species that symbolizes our nation.
Conservation efforts fueled by the Department of Conservation's 1976 New York State Bald Eagle Restoration Project have turned things around considerably, and over the past 30 years, the Hudson River Valley has seen a steady increase in the number of breeding bald eagles. In 1997, a nesting pair of eagles produced the Hudson Valley's first offspring in more than 100 years near Kingston, and by 2005, 12 pairs had nested and 18 eagles were born along the Hudson River.
The lower Hudson Valley has also seen a dramatic increase in wintering bald eagles, with over 150 nesting bald eagles spending their winters along the Hudson Valley's waterways. Teatown Lake Preservation, a nonprofit, environmental organization in Ossining, hosts an annual festival to celebrate the eagles' seasonal visit to our region. Teatown's Hudson River EagleFest, headquartered at Croton Point Park, includes multiple eagle viewing locations along the Hudson River. This year, Boscobel in Garrison is an official viewing site. In addition to the viewing opportunities of the estate's panoramic vistas over the Hudson River, eagle experts will be in attendance with scopes, and there will be a heated tent and hot cocoa.
Eagle viewing at Boscobel in Garrison is on February 9 (snow date is February 10) from 9am until 4pm. It's free and open to the public. Click here to learn more about Teatown Lake Reservation, and here to read more about the DEC's Bald Eagle Program.