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Hudson Valley Bald Eagle Sitings: Where to Spot Majestic Eagles in Dutchess County

I first learned about nearby nesting Bald Eagles when I visited an informational maple syrup presentation at Bowdoin Park in March 2023. I only had my cell phone with me and did not get any great pictures of the birds. I made a couple of return trips with my digital camera, but vowed to return to make better efforts in the future to make some Hudson Valley Bald Eagle Sitings.



Map Showing Bowdoin Park
Map Showing Bowdoin Park


Since Bald Eagles often live within two and a half miles of water bodies, the Hudson River Valley gives them perfect hunting grounds for their main food sources. From Tivoli in the north, to Poughkeepsie, and Beacon in the south---and anywhere in between—if you are in Dutchess County, keep your eyes peeled skyward looking for these massive birds.


Eagles at Bowdoin Park.  Photo by Robert Rightmyer.
Eagles at Bowdoin Park. Photo by Robert Rightmyer.

If the river is visible, you may see Bald Eagles on ice floes during winter or having a meal on an island. The birds most actively feed from 7 am - 9 am and 4 pm - 5 pm, though this may vary according to temperature and other factors such as how recently they last ate. Be prepared to wait a while. Eagle viewing requires patience.


Eagle carrying Nest Building Material.  Photo by Robert Rightmyer.
Eagle carrying Nest Building Material. Photo by Robert Rightmyer.

Since winter is the best time to view Bald Eagles, remember to dress warmly and bring along a hot beverage. If you are able to stay in the warmth of your car, that is desirable. December through February allows an unfettered view of eagles in trees sans foliage. But the freezing temperatures of winter are not for the faint of heart. I would certainly be selective when choosing the best Bald Eagle viewing days!


Winter is a cold time for Eagle Viewing
Winter is a cold time for Eagle Viewing

There are several places within Dutchess County that Bald Eagles have been known to roost and may provide some sightings of these fine feathered fish-eaters. Kayaking on the Hudson will get you great access, but if you prefer to remain on terra firma there are several attractions that provide free access with clear views of the Hudson River and, thus, afford opportunities for Bald Eagle viewing. They are: Tivoli Bays Natural Heritage Area and Poet’s Walk, both in Red Hook; Wilderstein Historic Site, Rhinebeck; Vanderbilt Mansion Historic Site and FDR Historic Site, both in Hyde Park; The Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, and Locust Grove all in Poughkeepsie; Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls; and Madam Brett Park in Beacon, at the mouth of Fishkill Creek.


All of the Bald Eagle viewing locations in Dutchess County are a short drive from Pleasant Valley Maple Lodging!


Dutchess County
Dutchess County

I am merely a science-minded person, not an ornithologist. According to my internet research, Bald Eagles may become distressed during nesting. Be mindful of this and observe them from a distance with binoculars or a long camera lens. Refrain from loud noises: honking horns, door slamming, radios playing, yelling, etc. Keep pets at home and don't do anything to try to make the birds fly. Harassing or disturbing a Bald Eagle is a federal offense and carries heavy penalties.



I have yet to be successful at getting a nice photo of the eagles, but here is a beautiful one by Robert Rightmyer.


Eagles at Bowdoin Park.  Photo by Robert Rightmyer.
Eagles at Bowdoin Park. Photo by Robert Rightmyer.

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