Saturday, January 2, 2010

The ShopRite Eagles


Next time you go to ShopRite, park near the trees. 

After hearing about them from Wendy at Crickleberry Cottage Conversations, I headed over to ShopRite on Rt. 59 across from the Palisades Mall this afternoon to pick up some grapefruit, but also to check the "four bald eagles" that she reported seeing.  To my amazement they were clearly visible from the west side of the rear parking lot.  The female was probably on the younger side (5- 6 years old or younger) because she didn't have her adult plumage yet and was still sporting a brown and white speckled breast and dark head and wings.



Two other males were flying around several hundred yards away.   Eagles often mate for life, so I'm wondering if there is some competive courting going on here. 

It's easy to see why the eagles would like being in this location.  It's a marshy area and is probably full of their favorite prey - gulls, ducks, rodents, fish and snakes.  But it still amazes me that they would feel so comfortable around the suburban hustle and bustle. In situations like this, I can't resist flagging down my fellow shoppers who are oblivious to it all, looking down at their carts, futzing with their grocery bags and keys, or circling the lot looking for a spot closer to the entrance.  "Over here in the back!  You gotta see this!"   (I'm the crazy lady whose grapefruit are rolling around the parking lot.) 

I've learned so much about these amazing birds this year by following the Urban Hawks blog, as well as Marie Winn's.   To have them so breathtakingly close and easy to observe is such a gift.


16 comments:

Talon said...

Gorgeous photos, JGH! I haven't seen a bald eagle since I was on the east coast. What beautiful birds to see while out shopping. Like you, I would have been telling everyone to look - lol~!

Lzyjo said...

Amazing, Jen!!! I can't believe there are bald eagle on Rt 59!!! Go urban birds!!! I've never seen a bald eagle in my life, but then again, I never looked in a ShopRite parking lot. :D

Bangchik said...

proud looking bird... just look at the dress.. white top, brown bottom and lips painted yellow... so proud. yea, they are kings of the sky. ~bangchik

sam said...

Isn't that cool? There are quite a few bald eagles in our area - not often in town, but a few miles out they are visible pretty regularly, especially in winter.

I will have to add a feederwatch count to my blog (and actually update the blog!) -we finally have activity! Best crowd so far is 9 goldfinches.

Skip Simpson said...

Majestic creatures. Great photos!

Karen said...

How cool is that?! They have rebounded so well around here in Seattle that I think a lot of people aren't even that phased by seeing them anymore. It still almost stops my heart. One soared down our street the other day! I do the same thing, try to help others see some cool wildlife if I spot it. They probably think I'm nuts too!

Ronda Laveen said...

Up here in northern California, I see a lot of eagles but they are never near public areas like that. Usually they are seen in their nests in very tall pines, redwoods or the tallest power line towers. They are the most amazing birds.

PamHMG said...

I can't believe it! Have they been there for a few days? Wonder if it's worth taking a gander there tomorrow.

GK said...

The eagles were there again today when I came out of Shop Rite around noon. Some of the other customers and I counted 7 eagles in total. It was such an amazing sight.

midwestgreen said...

The kids don't quite understand why DH and I get so excited over bald eagles - they've seen them every year since they were little - but DH and I can never get enough.

w

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I'm so thrilled you were able to get such a wonderful picture!!! Isn't this the coolest thing right in our own backyard?!!? I showed people the last time I was there and they thanked me over and over again for showing them. They were absolutely as thrilled as I was. I felt like I was going to burst if I didn't tell someone!!! :) Thanks for the wonderful picture!!!!

~ Wendy
http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth said...

Very Cool, I saw it on the News also! (ch. 12)... Can't wait to go shopping now.

JGH said...

Hope some of you local people got to see them. Even though the eagles are no longer endangered, and its not as rare to see them, it's still pretty exciting. There was a great article in The Journal News yesterday about them with lots of info including best times to go:
http://www.lohud.com/article/20101080333

Catskill Snap said...

I see solo eagles pretty often in The Catskills, last spring we were atop Bear Mountain & watched a group of eagles fly around...but eagles in the burbs ... that makes me very happy.

Anonymous said...

What a thrill it was to see a bald eagle yesterday! I have been trying to see one for the last couple of days, you just have to hit it right. But it's a sight I won't forget. I was glad to see others down there (especially with children). When the bird was spotted there was such a sense of excitement and awe in the air.

JGH said...

Cool!! I'm so glad to know that they're still there and that the kids got to see them too! I also heard they've been spotted on the Tappan Zee bridge.