Monday, December 15, 2008

Bald Eagle


I was driving through the mountains heading north to Boone and noticed an eagle flying overhead. I looked like a bald eagle but I had not seen one in this area before. When I lived in on the coast Florida I would see them daily. Doing some research, it seems there is a pair living on the shore of Lake James in Marion and I probably saw one of that pair. Keep an eye out when you are driving on Hwy 221!

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. The bald eagle's scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word "bald" meant "white," not hairless. Bald eagles are found over most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Combined with British Columbia's population of about 20,000, the northwest coast of North America is by far their greatest stronghold for bald eagles. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles.

Bald eagles were officially declared an endangered species in 1967 in all areas of the United States south of the 40th parallel, under a law that preceded the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Until 1995, the bald eagle had been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 43 of the 48 lower states, and listed as threatened in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington and Oregon. In July of 1995, the US Fish and Wildlife Service upgraded the status of bald eagles in the lower 48 states to "threatened."

On June 28, 2007 the Interior Department took the American bald eagle off the Endangered Species List. The bald eagle will still be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Bald Eagle Protection Act prohibits the take, transport, sale, barter, trade, import and export, and possession of eagles, making it illegal for anyone to collect eagles and eagle parts, nests, or eggs without a permit. Native Americans are able to possess these emblems which are traditional in their culture.

2 comments:

Barry said...

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Louvregirl said...

Wow. A bald eagle near Boone. I will be more astute to see one!
Thank you.
lg

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