BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A soaring symbol of freedom was spotted in an unexpected place.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, a bald eagle landed in Bayonne, New Jersey.
When Diane Macchia tried pulling into her driveway, she couldn’t believe what was blocking her way.
“This is the first time I ever saw an eagle,” she told Borg.
The bald eagle, our national symbol, was not budging.
“I had to do a double-take, because I was shocked to see an eagle land in Bayonne,” her husband, Nick, said.
The couple’s surveillance cameras captured the majestic bird around 2 p.m. Friday.
Just minutes before, neighbor David La Pelusa snapped photos of the eagle around the corner on Ninth Street and Avenue A.
“In the middle of the intersection, a beautiful bald eagle just dropped down,” he said. “I said to my coworker, ‘Did you see that?'”
Concerned the bird might be injured, he called police. Other residents who spotted it had done the same.
“They said, ‘hang tight, keep a safe distance, because it can attack,’” said La Pelusa.
New Jersey wildlife officials say an eagle landing in Bayonne is rare, but it is in the bird’s migratory path. It’s possible it was hunting for fish in nearby Newark Bay.
The eagle was about 3 feet tall and on the move.
“It just picked up and started flying and whisked right past me, almost knocked me over,” La Pelusa said.
Others who saw the eagle spread its massive wings were also blown away, especially seeing it glide past the American flags that line the block.
“It was just amazing,” Nick Macchia said.
“I still can’t believe it,” Diane Macchia added.
“It was once-in-a-lifetime for me,” said La Pelusa.
The bird hasn’t been seen in the neighborhood since, giving everyone hope that it’s healthy and just stopped for a quick, memorable visit.
Bald eagles were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2007.