State environmental officials say New York's bald eagle population may be at its highest level since efforts to restore it began more than 30 years ago.
The highest winter count was in 2008, with 573 bald eagles spotted. The Department of Environmental Conservation's preliminary results for 2010 indicate that sightings may exceed that number.
In 1975, the state was able to document only one unproductive pair of bald eagles after years of habitat loss, pesticide contamination and hunting. In 2009, 173 breeding pairs raised 223 young.
Eagles from Canada winter in New York. During a January 2010 survey, 459 were spotted, including 101 along the St. Lawrence River and 277 in the Hudson River and Delaware River basins.