The American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), the United States’ very own emblem is now clawing back stronger and flying magnificently just like the good ole days as researchers have just announced during the President’s Day that the population of the majestic bird of prey is going up again after years of decline.
The bald eagle which represents freedom and renowned for its longevity, prowess in hunting, sheer strength and splendid looks was picked as the emblem of the United States in June 20, 1782. The bald eagle was declared as an endangered species in 1967 but later removed from the endangered list in 1990s.
An endangered bird biologist at the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Patti Barber, said that “It’s hard to step away from the fact that they are our nation’s symbol and knowing that they’ve now come back from the brink.” Barber added, “I think a lot of people have a lot of pride that we managed to do that.”
The researchers noted that there are about 69,000 bald eagles now in the United States, which is far superior to the 487 nesting pairs that were estimated in 1963. The figure may look staggering but it is still way below the 100,000 eagles that were estimated in 1792 when the bald eagle was named officially as the symbol for the newly established nation.
The bald eagle population plummeted over the years no thanks to the invention of DDT after the World War II. The DDT was banned in the US in 1972 and Canada in 1989. In 1984, the National Wildlife Federation said that the other leading causes of eagle deaths are hunting, power-line electrocution, and collisions with its kind in flight.
The bald eagle which thrives on hunting fish, ducks and smaller birds became protected together with the golden eagle from prohibited commercial trapping and killing by “The Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940.”
The robust increase in the population of the bald eagles is indeed remarkable but researchers are still worried. They warned that the bald eagles aren’t completely in the wild as their natural habitat is gradually declining because of human settlements and this paves the way for many bald eagles getting prone to an assortment of injuries.