The Regal Bald Eagle

Every year the Bald Eagles arrive in our area - they come by the hundreds.   I never will get tired of seeing these regal birds!! As a youth I never would have dreamed of this.  You never saw Eagles!  Now I am out with my camera every chance I get capturing these amazing birds.  We are fortunate that the Eagles come through this area in mass.  I have been know to see 200 Eagles in a Day - WOW.  I don't get out as often as I can and there aren't always lots of eagles around but I usually atleast get to see a few.  I've even found several nests that I can watch.  

“An eagle earns its honor from the storms it endures.”― Matshona Dhliwayo

History of eagles

Many ornithologists believe that the eagle population numbered about half a million birds when Columbus arrived in America. Eagles lived on every river and chain of lakes on the continent. When John James Audubon traveled throughout much of the continent painting birds in the early and mid-1800s, he was very concerned about how scarce eagles were becoming. He wrote, "A century hence they will not be here as I see them, Nature will have been robbed of many brilliant charms."

The majority of eggs that eagles managed to lay during the late 40s thru the 60s had shells so thin and fragile that the eggs got squashed when the mother eagles tried to incubate them. One of the most frightening things for ornithologists was realizing that as low as eagle counts were, virtually all of the birds sighted were adults. It takes eagles 4 - 6 years to assume their adult plumage, and that meant that for more than 6 years, virtually no baby eagles had been born.

 The United States officially declared the Bald Eagle an endangered species in 1967 in all areas of the United States south of the 40th parallel. The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, and on July 4, 1976, the US Fish and Wildlife Service officially listed the bald eagle as an endangered species over the entire nation (though it was considered "threatened," not "endangered," in Alaska). Strict enforcement and heavy fines prevented most (but sadly not all) eagle shooting.

Thanks to all this work, eagle numbers started to recover. By the early 1980s, eagles were being seen regularly in more and more places, and immatures were being found once again. DDT remained in eagle tissues, and in the environment, but little by little it was decreasing. And little by little eagle numbers increased.  As a result of conservation efforts, the bald eagle population has risen from a mere 417 nesting pairs in 1963 to more than 71,400 nesting pairs and an estimated 316,700 individual birds in the Lower 48 today.