Popular Bald Eagle Rover Killed In New York City Car Crash

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A popular bald eagle in New York City was killed Monday in a car accident.

Rover, a bald eagle commonly spotted by local birdwatchers, was hit by a car while scavenging along the Henry Hudson Parkway, Manhattan Bird Alert announced.

“We received some sad news, that beloved Rover the Bald Eagle died today from being struck by a vehicle on the Henry Hudson Parkway while he was attempting to scavenge a small mammal,” Manhattan Bird Alert wrote on Twitter.

The bald eagle was last seen in Central Park on Feb. 14, Manhattan Bird Alert added.

“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, retired competitive birder and manager of Manhattan Bird Alert, told the New York Post (NYP) on 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,” Barrett reportedly recalled.

Rover was named after the tag R7 attached to him when he was a few months old in May 2018, Barrett told the outlet. The avian enthusiast reportedly said the bald eagle was a “majestic and beautiful” attraction that “drew many to wait long hours in the cold” to see or take a photo of. (RELATED: ‘Still Invading’: Gov’t Goes To War With One Owl Species To Save Another)

Social media users familiar with Rover flocked to Twitter to post tributes to the deceased bird.

“Devastated,” one user wrote. “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.”

“My heart is broken,” another person commented.

“OMG – what devastating news,” a third user wrote. “This just breaks my heart. Dear, dear Rover, your spirit will remain in the hearts of those who love you, whom you graced with your majestic presence.”

“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 stated, according to the NYP. He reportedly added that the birds are often seen along the Hudson River between northern Manhattan and Westchester.