In 2018, there was the hot mandarin duck. In 2021, there was a snowy owl. And now this year, bird watchers are flocking to Central Park to see the latest aviary delight in New York City: a bald eagle.
America's symbol has swooped in and is showing smaller prey who's boss. The bald eagle has been seen soaring over the reservoir and even hunting prey.
"I've been walking in the Reservoir for 10 years, and it's amazing to see a bald eagle in Central Park, very exciting," said birder Steve Greenhouse. Another woman said she saw the bird flying, but hadn't seen it on the ground yet.
David Barrett, perhaps better known on Twitter as Manhattan Bird Alert, has been following all the "bald eagle mania," as he called it.
"We know it's 'Rover,' the one that had been visiting Brooklyn for a few years. We know it because of the tag on it, a metal tag, R-7," Barrett said. "Bald eagles fascinate people, they are a bird that most people haven't seen in Manhattan."
So when is the best time to try and catch a glimpse of the majestic ornithological find?
"Between, say, the hours of 4 o'clock and sunset, that's the higest opportunity time to see the bald eagle on the Central Park Reservoir," according to Barrett.
Fellow birder Suresh Easwar caught a great shot of the eagle, for the third day in a row. One photo show's the hunter as it stood over its prey.
"The bald eagle was sitting over there, and then it started to fly and spooked all the birds," Easwar said. "Then it flew around and sat on the ice, other side over there, and it rediscovered what we believe was the kill from Sunday."
Those hoping to spot the bald eagle are advised to stay close to the reservoir, bring binoculars or a camera, and be patient.
"People get close shots of the eagle, that's not something you get every day," said Barrett.