Bald Eagle Is Officially Back

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will officially remove the bald eagle from its list of threatened and endangered species on Thursday.

In 1963, there were only 417 pairs of America’s symbol remaining in the lower 48 states, and populations continued to decline as a result of the sue of the pesticide DDT. The population in the lower 48 now is estimated at 11,040 pairs, making it a remarkable success story for the Endangered Species Act.

While the eagle is making a comeback, it should still give you a thrill to see one in Colorado. According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, there are about 60 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the state, an increase from one breeding pair known in 1974.DOW says:

“Roughly one-third of the breeding sites are found east of the Continental Divide within the South Platte River watershed. Other breeding concentrations include the Yampa River upstream of Craig, the White River in the vicinity of Meeker, the Colorado River upstream of Kremmling, and the La Plata and Montezuma counties. The Colorado Division of Wildlife monitors outcome at greater than 40 nests yearly, with eaglets banded at about a third of the monitored nests. The recent success rate of monitored nests is near 70%, with 1.19 young fledged per occupied site, and 1.72 young fledged per successful site.”

DOW has information about the bird here.

“All Americans have reason to be proud. Our nation’s symbol, the Bald Eagle is once again thriving,” says George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy.  “The conservation of the Bald Eagle is a true success story and a reflection of the concern Americans have for the environment. We strongly support delisting the eagle.”

ABC adds that while the bald eagle is the most visible of the ESA’s success stories, several other bird species, including the brown pelican, the California condor, the whooping crane and many others have seen dramatic increases in their populations as a result of ESA protection.