The bald eagle is the most recognizable birds in the United States, yet it was almost wiped away between 1700 and 1960’s. However, around the year 2007, it was removed from the federal list of the endangered species. It’s now listed as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List. They aren’t bald as their name suggests, but their white feathered heads gleam in contrast with their chocolate brown wings or body.
They are very recognizable because when flying, they rarely flap their wings, but soars instead, holding their wings completely flat. Their eyes occupy most of their space in the head, and they are said to have eight times resolution than any human, and can see a prey for up to 2 miles away.
Scientifically it’s known as Haliaeetus leucocephalus, and so far, it is the only sea eagle among the eight species endemic to North of America. Other sea eagles include Steller’s sea eagle, white-tailed, Pallas, Sanford, White-bellied, African fish and Madagascan fish Eagle.
Much if the history to these regal birds in America were lost before the European settlers arrived, but the native people know where they used to be found. Their history was completely lost when Native American Children were prohibited from learning their native language leave alone being separated from elderly who would have kept history to these birds.
It is believed that the eagle populations were more than a half million when Columbus arrived in America, and they lived in every river, every chain of the lakes all over the continent. As by the time the United States adopted the bald eagle as their national symbol in the late seventies, there were only 100,000 nesting eagles. What happened? A whole variety of things happened to them; people competed for the same food they needed. They cut down forests where these eagles nested, and the most impact on their decline is when people began to shot them for fun, leave alone the fishermen who shot them when they were afraid that they were a threat to the salmon fish.By the end of 1800 their numbers had decreased significantly, and by 1930 people were so concerned about their decline and in an effort to save them, there was an act passed later on to protect them. Despite these actions, by 1963, we only had 417 nesting pair of bald eagles after DDT pesticides’ killed thousands of these innocent birds.
Though the bald eagles numbers have grown in much of their range, they remain most abundant in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Florida, the great lakes states and scattered in all location throughout the lower 48 states.
Bald Eagles still face a threat from human, despite being declared as Species of Least Concern by IUCN Red List. Most of these threats come as a result of human development, disturbances, of course, pollution one of the major reason for their declining population and lost through collision and starvation. A reduction of hunting these birds since the 1970s has led to an impressive recovery of these species. Several zoo such as San Diego Zoo and many more are doing all they can to converse the Bald Eagle. They feed them a balanced diet of rats, rabbits, trouts, carrion among other diets. You can help conserve these amazing birds by protecting habitat their habitat, and keeping away from their nest; they need continued conservation for them to remain healthy and in existence for long.