Wintering bald eagles begin arriving in December and concentrations peak in January and February. Most are heading back to their nesting areas by mid-March.
The Hudson River, the Upper Delaware River watershed, and sections of the St. Lawrence River are great places to view bald eagles in the winter. DEC maintains two well-marked viewing areas in the Mongaup Valley on the Rio and Mongaup Falls reservoirs.
The following tips will help you to have the best possible experience:
- Use binoculars or spotting scopes instead of trying to get a little closer.
- Don’t do anything to try to make the bird fly.
- Respect private property and avoid restricted areas.
- Scan the tree line for eagles that are perched in the tree tops.
- Look overhead for eagles soaring high in the sky.
- Arrive early (7 am to 9 am) or stay late (4 pm to 5 pm), when eagles are most active.
- Be patient — this is the key to successful viewing.
Photo of bald eagle by Lisa Young.