After coming close to being completely wiped out, bald eagle numbers are soaring, filling the skies across the United States.
Conservationists have been welcoming the sight of nesting grounds abuzz with hungry chicks, writes CBS News.
“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,” Patti Barber, a Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist, told CBS News. “I think a lot of people have a lot of pride that we managed to do that.”
The bald eagle was adopted as the national symbol by America in 1782, a time when country may have had as many as 100,000 nesting eagles.
The first major decline noted in the species likely began in the mid to late 1800s, alongside the decline of prey including waterfowl and shorebirds.
A steep decline came after World War II, with the introduction of the pesticide DDT and lead poisoning.
By 1963, only 487 nesting pairs of bald eagles remained, leaving the species in real danger of extinction, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
DDT was banned soon after this period, and the bald eagle numbers began to recover.
The birds were listed as endangered in the late ’60s, when the Endangered List was created.
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SOURCE: Design & Trend, Mary Nichols