The Bald Eagle continues to overcome adversity and fascinate nature lovers.
When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in 1782,
the country may have had as many as 100,000 nesting eagles. The first
major decline of the species probably began in the mid to late 1800’s,
coinciding with the decline of waterfowl, shorebirds, and other prey.
Although they primarily eat fish and carrion, bald eagles
used to be considered marauders that preyed on chickens and
domestic livestock. Consequently, the large raptors were shot in an
effort to eliminate a perceived threat. Coupled with the loss of nesting
habitat, bald eagle populations declined.
Shortly after World War II, DDT was hailed as a new
pesticide to control mosquitoes and other insects. However, DDT and its
residues washed into nearby waterways, where aquatic plants and fish
absorbed it. Bald eagles, in turn, were poisoned with DDT when they ate
the contaminated fish. The chemical interfered with the ability of the
birds to produce strong eggshells. As a result, their eggs had shells so
thin that they often broke during incubation or otherwise failed to
hatch. DDT also affected other species such as peregrine falcons and
By 1963, with only 487 nesting pairs of bald eagles
remaining, the species was in danger of extinction. In addition to the adverse effects of DDT, some bald
eagles have died from lead poisoning after feeding on waterfowl
containing lead shot, either as a result of hunting or from inadvertent
there are almost 10,000 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous
United States. Bald eagles have staged a remarkable population rebound
and have recovered to the point that they no longer need the protection
of the Endangered Species Act.
For more information about Bald Eagles, visit All About Birds- the Cornell Lab of Ornithology online bird guide.
Bald Eagle Information http://t.co/o4ugzs2
Nesting Eagles http://t.co/vpj99ZV
Terrified Geese Have Eyes on the Sky http://t.co/pqsWQqE
Amazing moment bald eagle chases down and catches a starling in mid-air http://t.co/U3CT5Sh
Michigan DNRE asking drivers to watch out for bald eagles http://t.co/A9R33zI