NYC's celebrity bald eagle Rover killed in vehicle collision – New York Post



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A bald eagle that amassed a popular following throughout New York City was tragically killed in a vehicle accident this week, a local birder said.
Rover, the majestic eagle who was spotted soaring above the Central Park Reservoir just last month, was scavenging along the Henry Hudson Parkway on Monday when a car supposedly hit him, according to Manhattan Bird Alert.
“Rover was the most famous Bald Eagle in the New York City area, the only one known to both birders and non-birders alike by name,” David Barrett, a former competitive birder who runs the Manhattan Bird Alert, told The Post Wednesday.
“He could often be seen resting on trees over the waters of Green-Wood Cemetery as early as 2020. He also visited Prospect Park,” he noted.
In the days after the raptor’s death, social media users shared memories of their own encounters with the bird – which included stunning snaps of him mid-flight or perched in various locales.
“Devastated. Will never forget seeing this giant beautiful eagle show up at CP Reservoir,” one X user wrote.
He was last seen in Central Park on Feb. 14.
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Rover was named in honor of the R7 tag that was placed on him in May 2018, when he was just a few months old, Barrett explained.
“The chance to see or photograph Rover drew many to wait hours in the cold. He was majestic and beautiful, striking when seen at close range as he so often was,” the bird enthusiast added.
Devastated. Will never forget seeing this giant beautiful eagle show up at CP Reservoir Jan 23, 2022 just when I’d given up seeing any cool birds that day. Explosion of gulls in the air as #Rover caught this poor gull on the ice. Drama, baby! RIP #Rover #R7 😢 🦅 #birdcpp pic.twitter.com/mOpnbAkWAc
Rover’s many cameos around New York City were a positive indicator for the bald eagle population, Barrett said.
“Bald Eagles were on the brink of extinction in the United States in the 1970s. Now New York State has well over 400 breeding pairs, and the population shows strong, continuing annual growth,” Barrett explained, noting that New Yorkers can spot the national emblems in the flesh – or rather, feathers – along the Hudson River from northern Manhattan into Westchester.
There is also a nesting pair of bald eagles on Staten Island, and another twosome on an island off the coast of Brooklyn, he said.
Rover’s untimely death in a road accident, Barrett continued, reflected a major risk for raptors in populated areas.
Vehicle collisions are common for the winged creatures, he said, in part because they tend to swoop low over roads and other flat areas, particularly if they are after prey.
“Rover gave us front-row views into the wilder world of eagles right in the middle of our urban environment,” Barrett lamented. “We are going to miss him.”
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