When I was growing up Bald Eagles, America’s National Symbol, were in danger of extinction. Habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, and the contamination of their food source, largely as a consequence of DDT, decimated the eagle population. In 1940, noting that the species was “threatened with extinction,” Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act, which prohibited killing, selling, or possessing the species. By 1995 Bald Eagles had recovered to the point where they were no longer in danger of extinction, but instead “threatened”, and as of 2007 they were removed from the threatened list too. They live near rivers and marshes where they can find fish, their main staple of food.
I took a walk today to the pond I often go to, a mile from my home. I am always looking up into the trees to spot the birds that may be nearby. Today I had the thrill of a lifetime when I looked up to see a large brown bird way up high in a tree.
I quickly zoomed in and much to my delight was correct in thinking it was a Bald Eagle!
What a beautiful and majestic bird. It amazed me to think about how when I was a child I always learned about how our National Symbol was almost extinct and I would never have the opportunity to see one. Such a thrill to spot one, almost in my backyard.