By Ben Wolf
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Look out! Bald eagles are growing in numbers, but so much that.
Come February the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will most likely remove the birds from the endangered species list.
"I believe the survey in 1963 determined there were 400 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states," said Reed Bingham State Park Manager Chet Powell.
Now wildlife officials believe that number has grown to 7,000 nesting pairs. Experts believe decades of conservation measures have paid off.
"The Bald Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act, so three different things helped protect the bald eagle," said Powell.
At Reed Bingham State Park near Adel, Georgia, a bald eagle's nest sits high among tall pine trees near a lake. The area is blocked off. In fact, most park personnel aren't even allowed near the nest.
Park officials say they will take guests to spots in the park a far distance away from the nest where they can still get a good glimpse of the bald eagles.
"Maybe we are so much more aware than we used to be about ecology and the ramifications of everything that's going on," said Valdosta resident Roberta George.
"Conservation is increasing and everything and it makes you think, if that's happening, then what's next?" asked Valdosta resident Lance Redding.
After decades of struggle, a bird that represents freedom appears to finally be free from danger itself. Bald eagles can be found in every state except Hawaii and Vermont.