USA! USA! Sorry, I saw an eagle and got excited.

Now is a perfect time to see our country's national bird. The Department of Environmental Conservation has shared their suggestions for the best places to see these badass predators, but what about the inside scoop from local Hudson Valley birdwatchers?

The Best Spots

In a recent public post to the Hudson Valley Facebook group, a user asked for expert advice, and the suggestions came rolling in. Most notable was that most of the suggestions from birdwatchers were not on the DEC's list. Check out the six best eagle-spotting opportunities in the Hudson Valley according to insiders.

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6. Emeline Park, Haverstraw

Half of the spots on this list have a common theme: they're next to the Hudson River. The majority of a bald eagle's diet comes from the water, so for those of us in the lower Hudson Valley, Emeline Park would be a great spot to check out.

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5. Madam Brett Park, Beacon

Hey look, more water! But this isn't the Hudson. Although Fishkill creek feeds the Hudson River, just a few hundred yards inland from where they meet are marshes. You may even see more than eagles here:

Fishkill Marsh furnishes a home for amphibians and aquatic mammals and provides hunting grounds for ospreys and bald eagles

Eagles, ospreys, and marshes, oh my!

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4. Eagle Observation Area, Barryville

Well, it's in the name, isn't it? This spot is further west on the Delaware river, but Rt. 97, where the observation area is located, got several shout outs from birdwatchers.

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3. Norrie Point, Hyde Park

Back to the Hudson! Part of Mills Norrie State Park, Norrie Point had several votes. Plus you can visit the Norrie Point Environmental Center.

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2. Ashokan Reservoir, West Shokan

Growing up in Ulster County, this one is near and dear to my heart. Also cool to know you don't have to travel to a river to see eagles if you don't want to. In fact, this was tied for the most votes with possibly the most famous Hudson River landmark in recent history...

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1. Walkway Over the Hudson, Highland/Poughkeepsie

So you may not be able to observe eagles feeding while you're hundreds of feet above the river, but you may be able to get a literal bird's-eye view. Plus, how cool would it be to see one fly by at eye level?

So go forth and birdwatch! And maybe throw on an American flag onesie while you're doing it.

Want even MORE spots? Check out the list below. Plus keep scrolling if you want to see an eaglet (real word!) take its first flight.

9 Perfect Eagle Watching Spots Across the Hudson Valley

Wintering Bald Eagles will make their way around the Hudson Valley during January and February. Here are the best spots to get a birds-eye view of the majestic bird in our neck of the woods.

Eaglet Born on Susquehanna River Takes First Flight

American Bald Eaglet flies for the first time