Today is an historic day.

The Interior Department will announce it is removing the American Bald Eagle, the most majestic bird, from the protection of the Endangered Species Act, capping a four-decade struggle for recovery.

Government biologists have counted nearly 10,000 mating pairs of bald eagles, including at least one pair in each of 48 contiguous states, giving assurance that the bird's survival is no longer in jeopardy

There was a time when the American Bald eagle's future was in grave doubt, with only 417 mating pairs verified in the 48 contiguous states. It was a victim of hunting and of excessive pesticide use, most notably DDT, which seeped into the ecosystem, killing the bird and its eggs.

This time, American Conservatism got it right. It preserved a symbol that has carried through the founding of this country, and was established by the Continental Congress to be on the official seal of the United States in 1782. It has been worn with distinction by the 101st Airborne as its official patch, and has seen our armed forces through their most bitter campaigns.

The bald eagle is the most powerful symbol of America we have. It is the national bird of the United States and appears on most of its official seals including the seal of the President of the United States.

The Eagle is sacred in some North American cultures and its feathers are central to many religious and spiritual customs among native Americans.

One never forgets the experience of seeing an eagle in the wild, spreading its majestic wings, with over a 7 ft span, and soaring with the currents above the mountains and the plains. It would have been a crime against nature to have lost such an amazing creature to excess and abuse.

Alan Millhone adds:

I just now caught a segment on the return of the eagles to the Catalina Islands. It appears DDT did the trick in eliminating them for decades. Today the chicks are incubated and hand-fed for weeks before being taken to the Islands. All of us need to take care of our precious resources and our native animals and birds. 





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2 Comments so far

  1. David Stone on June 28, 2007 12:51 pm

    We went to a raptors show this past weekend at the local Audubon sanctuary. A woman brought several species of raptors. She runs a halfway house for injured birds, with the hope of rehabilitation and returned to the wild but many of the birds are far too disabled to fend for themselves anymore.

    Interestingly, her least favorite raptor is the bald eagle of which several are under her care. She says they’re nasty, ungrateful, and always smell like fish.

    Her favorite is the golden eagle. The female pictured below weighs 17 pounds and in its prime could bring down good-sized mammal. Unfortunately it lost the wing to a rifle bullet. It is originally from Idaho. She also mentioned that Native American ornamental wear, and headdresses were made of Golden eagle feathers and brought a bald eagle feather to demonstrate why: they are fairly nondescript.

  2. David Stone on June 28, 2007 1:02 pm



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