PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN — Prospect Park has a new feathery resident: a bald eagle.
The majestic raptor apparently took up perch within Brooklyn’s Backyard in recent weeks, to the delight of birdwatchers such as Tzvi Deutsch and the dismay of birds spotted flying away from the eagle’s talons.
Deutsch, of Borough Park, twice spotted the eagle last week. But he said one sighting hints that some parkgoers are not yet quite as eagle-eyed to the bird’s presence.
“There was a guy right beneath the tree oblivious to the fact within there’s a bald eagle right above him,” he said.
Not all parkgoers have been as oblivious.
Photographs of the bald eagle, including those taken by Deutsch, have circulated online in recent weeks.
Prospect Park’s official Twitter accounted posted a selection of bald eagle photos taken in mid-December. One photographer even captured a midflight image of an eagle chasing gull.
The eagle sightings could come as a surprise to New Yorkers whose impression of wildlife in the city extends only to rat sightings and cockroach infestations.
But they should know that New York City is very much for the birds.
The city’s parks, green spaces, 578-mile waterfront and position along a prime migration route provide “some of the best places in the world” to watch birds, according to NYC Audubon. And the five boroughs are a “hotspot” for raptors such as the peregrine falcon and, yes, the bald eagle, the group’s site states.
Bald eagles have been spotted across the city, including in Central Park, where one last year went viral after a video showed it hunting down a gull.
One popular bald eagle dubbed “Rover” by birders had frequented Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. But the raptor has since moved to Central Park, Gothamist reported.
Deutsch, though a lifetime avowed nature lover, said his bird watching habit is still just under two years old. But he said it has opened his eyes to a world that many New Yorkers ignore.
“I was always into nature: plants, flowers, trees, now birds,” he said. “Once I got into this, the walk down the street wasn’t the same.”
The bald eagle is now a fairly common bird after its numbers recovered from dire levels during the days of DDT, an insecticide that thinned birds’ eggshells, Deutsch said.
But a sighting of a bald eagle still brings wonder to birdwatchers such as Deutsch. He recounted a scene of great commotion as he watched Prospect Park’s eagle hunt a gull over the park’s lake.
“It’s absolute mayhem,” he said.
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