Bald Eagles Back In Big Way In Putnam, Hudson Valley

Bald Eagles have become a common sight in Putnam thanks to conservation efforts to bring them back.

Originally posted to the Putnam Daily Voice, by Sam Barron

June 1, 2015

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. -- Thirty years ago, it would've been a rare sight to see a bald eagle flying in the Putnam sky.

Now in the winter, bald eagles have become a common sight in Putnam thanks to conservation efforts to bring them back.

"They have definitely recovered beautifully in Putnam," Eric Lind, director of the Constitution Marsh Center and Sactuary in Garrison, said. "It's been a dramatic rebound. It's incredible."

Lind said in the 1970s and 1980s, people would've been hard-pressed to see an eagle in Putnam.

"It's sort of the model of how to successfully restore a wildlife population," Lind said. "It shows how much people are in control of a healthy wildlife population."

Young eagles were taken from Alaska and released into New York to help re-establish the population, Lind said. 

"The recovery of eagles would not have happened without the commitment and assistance from dedicated conservationists and biologists," Lind said. "People are in control of what we have around us."

Lind said seeing bald eagles fly above him is incredible.

"I love it," he said. "I'm in a great position to share with other people these types of experiences. It's thrilling, they are big spectacular beautiful animals."

When seeing an eagle, Lind said he can't help but feel a sense of awe. 

"They make our lives richer," he said. "They are undeniably incredible animals. They remind us  that we part of something bigger."

The best place to spot eagles is along the Hudson River shoreline in the winter, Lind said. The eagles generally leave in March and nest up north in New England, upstate New York and Canada.

Phyllis Bock, the education director of Teatown, said the nature preserve has been hosting EagleFest for 12 years.

"We've had 4,000 people attend in the middle of the winter to celebrate the return of the eagle," Bock said. "EagleFest is one of our biggest events of the calendar. We've had a big surge of people who want to view eagles in their natural habitat. People make a day out of it."