Friday, June 29, 2007
Off The List!
American Bald Eagles; Our National Symbol of Freedom...These majestic rapters have made an amazing come-back! They are being taken off the Endangered Species list this week, and are now under the Protected list. In the 1960's they were nearing extinction, as DDT was a common pesticide for farming, which became a major factor in the eagles decline. Their numbers reached so low that our Icon of Freedom could and would slip away forever if our government didn't react. Bald Eagles were placed on the Endangered List, thus protecting the species from harm, along with banning the use of DDT as a pesticide. Since then, and over 40 years later, the breeding pairs have reached nearly 10,000 across the U.S. compared to just 200 pairs in 1963. Although they are no longer endangered, they are still on the Protected List which makes it illegal to kill the bird.
In my own neck of the woods, there is a pair just a few miles away, who have successfully bred an eaglet this year. The nest is out of camera range for a decent shot, but I did catch some action when one flew into the cornfield, looking for food this past winter. I was parked across the road from the field, and the eagle soared right over me. It also swooped down next to some geese, who seemed to huddle close for protection, but the rapter was only after some nesting material such as corn husks for their giant nest in a nearby tree.