Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

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Al Sumonnat Barbara Joe Mary Ann

Bald Eagles of the Hudson River
by Bob Rancan

Saturday, January 22, 2022

What a day to go traipsing around looking for Bald Eagles! For the last 25-30 years, the winter season has brought good numbers of these magnificent birds down to the lower reaches of the Hudson from frozen regions to the north. In addition, in New York state, after a reintroduction program in the eighties, there were 15 breeding pairs in 1990, 43 by 1997, 254 by 2014 and 323 by 2017. A Hudson River breeding pair produced the first eaglet in 1997 and today there are many nests along the Valley. For spotting big numbers on any given day, it helps to have a cold day and floating ice in the river. When everything is frozen solid up north, more birds gather to find food.

So, February 5th brought us icy conditions from the previous days' rain, temperatures in the low to mid-twenties and ice chunks along the shore and floating with the tide. At or five stops our bundled-up group spotted about three dozen eagles, young birds and adults, perched, standing on the ice, and flying about. At least two probable mated pairs flew together and circled around each other...a little courtship thing.

The forecast of icy conditions kept our group numbers down but we had a game crowd of nine show up ready for the show. This year's Eagle Fest at Croton Point Park had been cancelled again because of Covid 19 but the folks from Saw Mill River Audubon had tents set up at two locations with spotting scopes and hot chocolate. Thanks for their hospitality and thanks to Al G, Sumonnat K, Alan R, Barbara P, Mary Ann H, Joe M, Lee Mc, and Alex T for joining me.


Eagle at Verplanck

Gang at Georges Island

Georges Island Eagles

Verplanck 22


  • Saturday, May 21: Great Swamp, Patterson, NY
  • Monday, May 23: Belchers Creek, West Milford
  • Saturday, May 28: Rockaway River (tentative)
  • Monday, May 30: Passaic River
  • Saturday, June 4: Farmington River, New Hartford, CT
  • Monday, June 6: Greenwood Lake Launch/Lunch
  • Tuesday, June 7, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (CUC)
  • Sunday, June 12: Passaic River
  • Friday-Sunday, June 24-26: VT weekend - Chittendon Reservoir
  • Friday, July 8: Lackawaxen River, Pike County, PA
  • Saturday, July 9: Cheesequake State Park, NJ
  • Saturday, July 16: Swim With Your Boat Day (tentative)
  • Sunday, July 24: Passaic River
  • Saturday, July 30: South Branch Raritan, NJ Balloonfest
  • Saturday, August 6: Delaware River - Dingmans
  • Friday-Sunday, August 12-14: Spruce Run Reservoir Weekend
  • Monday, August 15: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 30: Picnic
  • Saturday, September 10: Lackawaxen River, Pike County, PA
  • Sunday, September 18: Passaic River
  • Friday-Monday, October 7-10: Adirondack Long Weekend
  • Saturday, October 22: Fall Foliage...Paulinskill or Upper Delaware
  • Saturday, November 19: Musconetcong River


  • Saturday, May 14: Housatonic River, Litchfield County, CT
  • Tuesday, May 3, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (Zoom)
  • Saturday, April 30: South Branch Raritan River, Hunterdon County, NJ
  • Sunday, May 1: Spring excursion through the Wallkill River Wildlife Refuge
  • Sunday, April 24: Rockaway River
  • Friday, April 15: Paulinskill
  • Saturday, April 9: Shepaug River - Washington Depot to Roxbury, CT
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Membership Meeting with Show & Tell (CUC)
  • Sunday, April 3: Wallkill
  • Saturday, March 26: North Branch, Raritan River, Somerset County, NJ
  • Sunday, March 27: High Mountain Hike 12 noon--
  • Sunday, March 20: Spring Fling 2022 (rescheduled holiday party)
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (Zoom)
  • Saturday, Feb. 19: Winter Walk/Hike... River trail along Hudson from one of the NJ section Interstate Park's boat basins, either Englewood or Alpine
  • Saturday, Feb. 5: Driving and walking Tour...Westchester Bald Eagles
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1: Zoom Membership Meeting & Presentation - Caring for the National "Wild and Scenic" Musconetcong River
  • Saturday, January 22: Winter Walk...Top of the Palisades, Alpine, NJ
  • Tuesday, December 7: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Saturday, November 27: Musconetcong River
  • Sunday, November 14: Hackensack River
  • Saturday, November 13: Hike at Cheesequake State Park with Naturalist
  • Tuesday, November 9: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Sat & Sun, Nov 6-7: 2021 Mullica River Fall Paddle Camping
  • Sunday, October 31: Halloween excursion through the Wallkill National Wildlife Management Area in Sussex County, NJ
  • Saturday, October 16: Paulinskill
  • Tuesday, October 5: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Monday, September 13: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 24: Annual BBQ (6-9 pm)
  • SATURDAY, July 24: An upper branch of the mighty Raritan River
  • Tuesday, July 6: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • SATURDAY, June 26: FARMINGTON RIVER - Riverton, CT
  • Tuesday, June 1: Membership Meeting & Presentation