Eagles Soar Over NYC After 50-Year Absence - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Eagles Soar Over NYC After 50-Year Absence

DDT blamed for chasing them away

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Eagles Soar Over NYC After 50-Year Absence
    Bald eagles are now a visible -- and growing -- site in New Jersey.

    It has been half a century, but bald eagles are finally being spotted in the skies over New York City.

    "It's incredible. It's really incredible and I think that's why it's so nice to walk down here," said jogger Julia Orlando from Oradell, N.J.

    More significantly, the eagles are now nesting just seven miles from Manhattan in Bergen County,  N.J.

    One "birder" says she never expected to see them this close to New York.  "Not at all...too much building...too much concrete," said Diane Rigg.

    In the wintertime, as many as a dozen eagles have been spotted on the thin ice of Jersey's Oradell Reservoir. This spring, one pair of them hatched an eaglet, who just began flying in the middle of June.

    Although no longer on the federal Endangered Species List, most eastern states, including New York and New Jersey, keep their own lists of endangered species, which still include the bald eagle.

    The amazing bird measures about 30 to 31 inches in length with a wingspan of six to seven feet.
      
    While 75 percent New Jersey's eagles are on private property, the pair just seven miles from Manhattan are in a forested area belonging to United Water.
       
    "We are gated, it gives them a little bit of serenity and they have all the area they need to fly over," says the company's Rich Henning.
      
    New Jersey's DEP reports 75 nesting pairs across the state this spring, including on the Oradell Reservoir, which produced 82 eaglets. That number has been increasing steadily since only one nesting pair was found in South Jersey back in 1970. Extensive use of the pesticide DDT following World War Two is blamed for decimating the bird's population until its use was banned in the 1960's.