2021 – Ol’ Eagle-Eye on the Teaneck Greenway


(ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on March 25, 2021)



I needed to go walk somewhere local that I haven’t been to in a few years. My inspiration came last Saturday when I took a couple of pictures from my living room of balloons at a car dealership 3 blocks away:


They do this every weekend as if the sight of strings of balloons triggers something in people driving by to suddenly pull in and buy a car.

The dealership – as you can see in some of these pictures – sits on the bank of the Hackensack River on River St. On the other side is Teaneck, which I used to be able to see more of until construction of a 5-story building a block from me took away that view last year.

Fortunately, I was able to shoot a photo stitch from the roof of that building last November 5, which illustrates my route nicely (click TWICE to fully enlarge, scroll laterally to view and hit your back button to return to this page):


From my building, I walked down the side street that’s on the other side of the apartment building on the far left, made a right on River St for a half-block, crossed the street and then made a left to walk up River St in the opposite direction. Right before the white building (just to the left of center) with the big lot of cars, I stopped by the cars that were just before I got to the front of that building – that’s where the balloons were, so I took some closeups:


Continuing past that building, I walked to the left (north) until I got to Anderson St – where the bridge crosses the river into Teaneck and Anderson St becomes Cedar Lane. About a hundred feet beyond the bridge was a fence with a slightly-opened gate. This was the Teaneck Greenway – technically, “The Hackensack River Greenway Through Teaneck” – which runs from that opening along the river southward to where you see the big bend in the river in the above stitch, which the path then follows eastward:

I hadn’t been here in a few years because I always started to think about it whenever I saw the sprouting foliage. The problem is when that happens, it’s too late – you can’t see anything on the opposite (Hackensack) side of the river or take any pictures because of all the leaves. Fortunately, I thought about it this year before they sprouted.

The path starts out as tire tracks and devolves into a rough path. I recall that there was a garbage dump here a long time ago, so that may be the reason for the old tire tracks. There’s still a dump there, but what’s dumped these days are leaves and snow and those trucks come in from another direction:


It’s quite the opposite of the smooth, paved path of the Hackensack River Walkway in Hackensack. There is a lot of vegetation between it and the river and it’s difficult to actually reach the river, what with all the sticker bushes, skinny tree limbs, rocks and pieces of concrete on the inclined bank. Oh, yeah – and the remains of……….something that used to be alive:


After getting on the Greenway, I looked back toward the bridge and saw all these loitering geese:


Initially, I could see my apartment and tried to shoot through all the tree branches:


Walking a bit further, I could see the apartment, the balloons and the river. In the upper left is the new building where I shot the stitch from its roof:


Suddenly, the geese back at the bridge started honking and flying low over the river in my direction. When they reached me, there were way too many branches in the way to get a good shot.

They ignored my pleas for a re-do (it would have been a great shot), but they DID reverse direction and flew to my other side higher through the trees:

Not a great shot, but it’ll have to do.


As I continued down the path, I could see the old bank building at 210 Main with the new sculpture on its roof after the building was converted to condos. Two trees sort of made an X with their river reflections, so it made an OK picture:


But I noticed something else………….a very small but familiar shape in one of the trees. I zoomed in as much as I could, but the viewfinder didn’t let me identify what I had just shot:

A bald eagle!


I must have spent the next half-hour trying to find a clearing with a horizontal surface to steady the camera for shooting some video. The maximum zoom in video is WAY beyond the maximum zoom for stills. It’s impossible to hold a small camera still when trying to focus on a super-tiny spot that’s far away and under maximum magnification.

Plus, I was trying to do this while contorted on an inclining river bank while standing on unsteady rocks and broken round branches that made it feel like I was standing on a couple of rolling pins.

I got a couple of crummy vidbits that I’ve stitched together while complaining about my inability to get steady footage, and I’ll post that a little later.

Since the eagle hadn’t budged in quite a while, I decided to finish my path walk, and then walk back to Hackensack and hope he’d still be there.

The path bent around to the east to follow the river bend as I mentioned before. From one clear point, I was able to take a 7-photo stitch that lined up nicely of the entire bend section (known as Kipp’s Bend) from its easternmost point (Terhune Park in Teaneck) to where it takes a right to continue heading south (mid-picture), Foschini Park in Hackensack, the bank/condo building on Main St and back to the thick vegetation of the Greenway (same as the previous stitch: click TWICE to fully enlarge, scroll laterally to view and hit your back button to return to this page):


I started to head back because I still had a lot of walking to do and noticed some things I had missed before (though I don’t know how I could have missed these):

The red ones were pointing in the direction I had just come from (was I in danger?). There WERE a lot of holes in the ground that could have housed animals (I DID look for shed snake skins when passing them). Oh well………..too late now.


How did I miss THIS? Actually, it was on my left as I was scanning the river on my right (Eagle-Eye always has a good excuse):

I DID check: this thing was firmly embedded in the ground.


Before I left the Greenway, I took one last shot of the Hackensack riverbank:




Passing the car dealership again, I noticed that the balloons were getting tangled up in the telephone wires:


The Audubon Society would prefer that nesting locations NOT be revealed so as not to cause disruption to mom and the eaglets, but I could see from Teaneck that there was no nest – it was just a high-up perch, so here’s what happened.

As I passed by the famous White Manna burger joint (for all you out-of-towners, Guy Fieri suggests you watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9RRsUbDV0U), I knew I was getting close. When I got to the far end of the gas station next door, I looked up and saw:


He waited! But there were still obstructions and the camera was focusing on the branches that were between us. Besides, he was facing south and I was facing east, so I had to go around the next building to face him. By the way – there’s a McDonald’s across the street, so maybe this bird likes burger joints.

Late addition for the locals: this image from Google shows the McDonald’s arches on the far left, White Manna is circled in green and behind the indicated building on the right is where the tree is. Remember, it’s just a random perch the eagle occupied at that moment. Don’t go there expecting to see the bird there again.

Click ONCE to enlarge and use your back button to return to this page:


Unfortunately, I was now further from him, but I DID get a fairly clear – albeit small – shot of him (on the right):


As you’ll hear in the video, he was being harassed by a gang of noisy fish crows. I could even hear them when I was across the river. I saw a fence opening that might get me closer and with a more unobstructed shot, but as I reached that spot, I looked up and he was gone. The stupid fish crows had chased him away.


As I started to walk away, I noticed a couple standing by their car about a hundred feet behind me. The man was holding a 35mm camera with a MONSTER lens on it. It was so long, he had to cradle it in his arms like a baby.

He said the eagle had headed south downriver and that he had first spotted the bird from where he lived in Teaneck.

Looking at his lens, I said, “You must have gotten incredible shots of him”. He showed me one that wasn’t that great and wasn’t that close.

“How big IS that lens?”


“ALL of that is 500mm?”


I was astounded. “My little dinky camera’s optical zoom goes up to 448mm,” I said, rather insensitively.

“Well, gotta be going.”

And that was that.


Here’s the crappy video that was mostly shot in Teaneck:


One last thing regarding the above encounter with the couple: I went home and started to edit all the shots. If you look at the Kipp’s Bend stitch, you’ll see a clearing between two sets of reeds in the Foschini park area. That’s where people can easily walk down to the river’s edge. I’ve done that often.

While still on the Greenway 40 minutes before that meeting, I happened to notice two people approaching the water from that opening and took a picture:

The man is carrying a camera with a VERY long lens and is cradling it in his arms like a baby.

Guess who……………



This is the easternmost part, accessible from Terhune Park on River Rd in Teaneck.

Whereas I was facing south in Part 1’s photo stitch of Kipp’s Bend, I am now facing west from Terhune Park:

(the Part 1 path is on the right side)


If that’s not clear, maybe this will help:


While the neighbors are peering out their windows to see if I jump across their property line, I made another lucky discovery and beat it back to the path:


Originally, I actually wasn’t sure just what I saw – maybe it was an empty nest – so I took one shot that didn’t come out very well………..just in case:


As I started back on the path paralleling the river, I happened to take a look to the right and saw something amazing: what looked like a bald eagle was zooming very low above the water and then appeared to grab at something. I never saw a fish, but the bird immediately took off upward and over to the right towards Foschini Park and then crossed back over the river and settled in some trees near my starting point.

This happened so fast and there were so many shoreline obstructions where I was, that I couldn’t have raised my camera, found and framed the speeding bird, focused through the branches and shot the scene. Even if I was prepared and waiting, I still probably wouldn’t have captured much – if anything – so I concentrated on where it was going instead.

I slowly made my way back to my starting point – stopping every few feet to find the bird – but I never found him. I’m sure it was the same bird I had just poorly photographed because he was facing the same direction as the one that flew by.

I ran into some DPW guys nearby and asked one of them if he had seen a bald eagle. “All the time”, he said, and proceeded to tell me stories about his sightings by the riverbank.

During the conversation, he confirmed that there had been a dump nearby and that the dump trucks probably did create the tire tracks that existed near the Greenway’s Cedar Lane entrance. Apparently, I guessed correctly

“It’s still a dump, but only for leaves and snow these days.”

Nice guy – maybe I should hang out with him if he’s such a bald eagle magnet.

Time to continue on the path:


Closeup of that sign:

You can see where I am (X) and the land above the green loop on the far right is where the “No Trespassing” sign was.


Geez – did they have to put the bolt through its jaw?


Ivy on trees – an arboreal no-no:


I hope they eventually clean up the shoreline and the fallen trees:


And the stupidity:


……so it can be more of a true national recreation trail:


Walk the plank?

(I didn’t look inside the cabinet.)


Views across the river:

For all you locals: This construction is taking place where the big parking lot across the street from Bowler City is.


This one is in my neighborhood (my building would be just to the left of the left edge). Continuing on to the right: 417 Main, new construction at 435 Main (across Main St from the recently-closed Sears) and the Holy Trinity Church steeple between them (where all the Leafe kids were baptized):


Back on the path, returning to my starting point:


Something new to me:

I don’t know who the deceased was.


On the way back to my car, I came across this relatively-new entrance to this segment of the Hackensack River Greenway on River Rd (same as before: click TWICE to enlarge, laterally scroll, hit back button to return):

This entrance takes you right to the northernmost point of this segment – right by the “No Trespassing” sign.


The highlight of these two visits? Obviously, a bald eagle sighting each time – something that’s never happened once in all the dozens of other visits.


Reason to return………….



One Comment

  1. Annemarie March 25, 2021

    Seeing a bald eagle in Hackensack…priceless!

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