STATEN ISLAND — A pair of bald eagles have shacked up on Staten Island.
The bald eagle couple built a nest on an uninhabited island off the coast of Staten Island, the first bald eagles in at least 100 years to live in the city, according to the National Audubon Society.
The eagles were spotted moving material to make their nest on an unused dock early in January by a tugboat captain, according to the birder group.
The Audubon Society did not reveal the exact location of the nest for fear of poachers.
The couple isn't the first bald eagles to be spotted in the borough in recent years. Two young adult eagles were spotted last year practicing nest-building in Prince's Bay, the Staten Island Advance reported.
An estimated 173 breeding pairs of the birds live in New York State. The population grows in the winter when the eagles from Canada and Alaska fly to find areas with open waters and ample fish, Audubon reported.
The population of bald eagles was nearly depleted nationwide due to the use of the pesticide DDT, according to Audubon. Since its ban in the 1970s, the population has gradually climbed. More eagles could pop up in the city as more birds look for food, experts say.
“Because eagle numbers are increasing,” Bob DeCandido, a Bronx-based ornithologist, told Audubon, “this is probably just the beginning.”