Sighting a bald eagle in New York Central Park in January 2022

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Joe Amon/Denver Post/Getty Images

New York’s Central Park has seen its share of famous birds, from the beautiful mandarin duck to the mesmerizing snowy owl. Now it hosts an American icon, a bald eagle named Rover.

The bird earned its nickname from Brooklyn birdwatchers who spotted it all over the borough before others saw it in Manhattan. Several videos of Rovers flying low over Central Park and hunting animals like birds and fish have appeared online over the past week. One Twitter user even captured him catching a seagull mid-air:

David Barrett, who runs the Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter account, said gothamist that Rover has previously been spotted in Brooklyn, but the repeated sightings in Central Park were new and “highly unusual”. This particular eagle was given a green band with the code R7 on it in 2018 by wildlife researchers to keep track of its whereabouts.

As the eagle’s name suggests, spotting Rover in Central Park is far from guaranteed. Nonetheless, its presence has drawn many New Yorkers to the park, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bird of prey. It was spotted just yesterday for those willing to brave the elements.

Check out Barrett’s map of Central Park birding spots and this one Twitter account to learn more about birding in Manhattan and hopefully get a chance to spot Rover and a host of other exciting birds.

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Chris Mench is a NYC News Specialist Editor at Thrillist. You can follow him on Twitter for more of his work.

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