BOGOTA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey is now a hotspot for bald eagles.
In the 1970s, they landed on the endangered species list. Now, they’re thriving in the Garden State.
As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported Tuesday, where you can spot the mighty creatures might surprise you.
“I thought there’s no way. What is an eagle doing in Bogota?” resident Fracie Silos said.
America’s national bird has landed in Bogota.
“When they fly low, especially, they’re almost like mini airplanes,” George Silos said.
Fascinated by the magnificent creatures, George and Francie documented the first sighting in late fall, watched them build a nest in winter, and have an eaglet in spring, which needed a little help after an attempt to fly failed. Don’t worry, though, The Raptor Trust nurtured and released it into the wild.
The Silos told Murdock they’re thrilled the pair set down roots — well, branches — in Bogota.
“We felt so isolated, but you’d step out of your house and these amazing birds would descend practically on top of us,” said Francie Silos.
In an interview obtained by NorthJersey.com, Thomas White said he was in disbelief when he learned the eagles picked his tree to call home.
“It was equivalent to saying ‘Mr. White, there’s a white rhino at your back door.’ You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said.
Tom Bright said he hasn’t spotted the majestic birds yet, but hopes to.
“I’m hoping to see Kristine Johnson come down and visit me one of these days, too,” he said.
“That’s the weirdest place. That is the strangest place,” said Don Torino, president of the Bergen County Audubon Society. “Again, we never thought they would build it there.”
Watching nests for 10 years, Torino said suburbia seems like a strange place to call home, but consider this: Bogota is nestled along the Hackensack River. While humans probably shouldn’t eat the fish that swim there, eagles do.
It’s a neighborhood that has taken these eagles under their wings, and plans to protect their future here.
If left undisturbed, the pair will likely be back in Bogota near next year to do it all again.
The Hackensack River is a hotspot for viewing, especially in winter, at the historic New Bridge landing in River Edge.