If Rover can come here, maybe bald eagle can go anywhere

Visitors to Central Park’s reservoir in New York are taking part in a feathered drama. Its star performer, thrilling park-goers and terror gulls, is Rover, a bald eagle.

The city’s birdwatchers followed Rover in two years, and a score for his ongoing story demonstrating the conservation benefits of attaching aluminum strips to the legs of threatened birds when they are young. Rover’s visit to five counties also adds to the evidence of a return to urban areas by birds of prey. If Rover can make a home in and around Central Park, perhaps even more eagles will fill the city’s skies in the years to come.

Rover’s story begins in New Haven, Conn. In 2016, the town’s birders were amazed to see a pair of bald eagles nesting near a crowded intersection. Men wear a band around their legs that says “P2”, while women don’t. Martin Torresquintero, the city government’s outdoor adventures coordinator, said the Birders named the couple Walter and Rachel – W and R after the West River, which flows through the city.

Walter and Rachel had no children that year and later moved to a nearby cemetery. They succeeded the following year and again in 2018 when they laid three eggs.

Biologists with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection monitored the nest until the eggs hatched. On May 11, 2018, Brian Hess, a state wildlife biologist, rode a cherry picker in New Haven City to the nest and removed the chicks. He weighed them, put a metal ring around each person’s leg, and returned it. One ring contains a long number assigned by the US Geological Survey’s Birdstrip Laboratory, while the other contains two large characters that can be seen through a spotting telescope or zoom lens. The female sibling’s band reads P7, while one male reads R7 and the other, S7.

Two years later, a young bald eagle began to watch in the tall pines of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. “I couldn’t believe a bald eagle was hanging out at the Green-Wood Cemetery in the middle of Brooklyn,” said Angela Panetta, a county liquor salesman, who said the eagle intrigued her with horseback riding.

Birders of Green-Wood caught a hoop around his left leg, R over 7 years old – giving him the nickname Rover, and they’ve been tracking him ever since.

Then, just a few weeks ago, a bald eagle appeared out of nowhere in Central Park, perched low on a reservoir and snatched a seagull in the air in front of onlookers.

Mr. Hess saw One video of Central Park bald eagles hunting. “I thought, wow, that’s the best thing,” he said. Soon after, he was contacted with a report that a bald eagle with a black band reading R7 had flown around New York City. He recognized the union immediately – it’s one of the siblings he founded in 2018.

Rover represents the trend of birds of prey moving into urban areas. Predator populations plummeted during the first half of the 20th century due to poaching and the widespread use of the pesticide DDT. These chemicals travel up the food web and accumulate in predators like bald eagles, making their eggshells too thin, says Jen Cruz, a population ecologist at Boise State University. to support the parent’s weight, says Jen Cruz, a population ecologist at Boise State University.

Bans on the DDT, as well as laws prohibiting harming or disturbing bald eagles, have led to the species’ recovery. US bald eagle population has quadrupled since 2009, and these large, white-headed raptors are now a regular sight even in New York City; For example, bald eagles breed on Staten Island. These birds are adaptable, and can eat fish, ticks, other birds and more – even in Central Park.

“I’ve been playing Central Park for at least five years now,” says Ursula Mitra of Manhattan. “And honestly, I’ve never seen a predatory eagle in the reservoir except for the past four or five weeks.”

Birds of prey still face threats in New York City. Just last year, The famous Barry owl in Central Park is dead after a collision with a vehicle under maintenance. An autopsy showed that she was ingesting poisoned prey.

The Rover family also endured drama. There are no reports of the P7’s weight, and the S7 was killed in September 2018 by a truck in West Virginia. Rover’s mother, Rachel, hit by a truck on I-95 in 2020 and survive. But during rehabilitation, Walter found a new life partner who fought against Rachel when she tried to get back together with him, Mr.

Mr. Hess is optimistic about the future of Rover. Bald Eagles start breeding around 5 years old, Rover is 4. Maybe it will find a mate and choose to adopt in New York City.

“Clearly this bird has figured out how to catch seagulls, and possibly ducks as well,” Mr. Hess said. “They’re really smart and adaptable birds, they’ve found a way to survive in many different places.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/science/bald-eagle-central-park-rover.html If Rover can come here, maybe bald eagle can go anywhere

Fry Electronics Team

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