For the first time in over a century, bald eagles are nesting in NYC, according to a report by the National Audubon Society, thereby making our city even more American than that time we got pumpkin spice latte burgers.
Two of the once gravely endangered birds were spotted nest-making in early January close to an uninhabited island near Staten Island, according to the Audubon report. Along with the new NYC eagle residents, there are approximately 173 breeding pairs that nest in all of New York State, and nationally, the population of bald eagles has increased from near extinction over the last few decades due to vigorous Endangered Species Act protections and reintroduction efforts, the report notes.
Bronx-based ornithologist, Bob DeCandido, told Audubon, in a hopefully not-at-all-ominous way, that the new NYC bald eagle nesting is "probably just the beginning," as the population grows overall and as eagles fly south in winter months in search of more food. Government restrictions on getting too close to the birds in the wild and revealing their exact nesting locations will likely protect them from becoming a tourist attraction, he added. But just the pure jolt of patriotism knowing the eagles — the glorious, soaring official symbols of the United States of America — are here should be enough for anyone.
Thrilist left a message with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation seeking additional information. Send any and all pics of eagle sightings this way.
Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and has actually seen a bald eagle in New York City ... at the Bronx Zoo. Follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.