Good Eagle News and Bad Eagle News

Bald Eagle Resurgent

The good news is that the bald eagle is off the endangered species list:

Bald eagles no longer endangered
By H. Josef Hebert
Associated Press
Article Launched: 06/28/2007 01:30:53 AM PDT

WASHINGTON – The American bald eagle, a national symbol once almost wiped out by hunters and DDT poisoning, has not only survived but is thriving.

The Interior Department will announce today it is removing the 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.

The eagle population hit bottom in 1963 when only 417 mating pairs could be documented in the 48 states and its future survival as a species was in doubt.

There were once believed to be as many as a half million bald eagles in North America, predating the Europeans’ arrival. The Continental Congress put the bird onto the country’s official seal in 1782, although Benjamin Franklin preferred the turkey and called the eagle a “bird of bad moral character.”


Conservationists called the eagle recovery a vindication of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, which has been under attack from property rights and business groups, and the subject of internal review at the Interior Department … John Kostyack of the National Wildlife Federation called the eagle resurgence “truly one of America’s great wildlife success stories” that shows the federal law is needed and can work.

But old Ben may have been more right than he knew. The bad news?

From the same story:

Earlier this year, a federal court directed Interior to make a decision on the bird’s status by this Friday, acting in a lawsuit by a Minnesota man who complained the government’s delays kept him from developing seven acres that included an eagle’s nest.

That’s right:

The eagle was not removed because it was determined that the Endangered Species Act was a success.

It was not removed to show us how we might actually be making PROGRESS towards NOT killing every life form on the planet, ourselves included.

It was removed, because it was in the way of a guy who wanted to bulldoze seven acres of pristine wild land.

The eagle was in the way of the Almighty Dollar, and, therefore, was reclassified. The bulldozers rejoice! Huzzah!

Oh well: perhaps the newly reinvigorated bald eagle can find another nation to represent — one not so addicted to greed and fatal hubris.

On a side note, I understand that fried bald eagle is very tasty.

Tastes like chickenhawk.



© 2007 Hart Williams. Cross-posted from Zug - Hart Williams' Blog
The continuation of
Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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4 Responses to Good Eagle News and Bad Eagle News

  1. We have Eagles down the bayou community I grew up in. I saw my first Eagle when I was 17 years old, and it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. It took flight from a field with a freshly killed rabbit in it’s talons. I had a lump in my throat after I saw it.

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    From childhood I wanted to work wildlife management. This got spoiled for me when one of the required courses in my major was “Ecology”. Thankfully, I’ve never looked at the world the same since then. And it cost me my first profession. As planned, I signed on with the State, lasted a short while, and then left the field behind. In the real world non-game species, and particularly predators, were looked at more as pests and I couldn’t figure out how to manage the ecosystem without showing due recognition and respect for all members of it.

    And now those people get to do things like rescue Eagle populations. The classic case of having been born too soon.

    How grateful we should all be for those who stuck with it.

  3. Ginny Cotts says:


    One offset from that story. We had a mini family reunion in May with mom, my sisters, mom’s favorite cousin and her three children. They live in the Lawrence, KS area and the youngest continued in family farming, hooking up with the daughter of another local farming family after he had worked for some time with her dad.

    The place is a heartwarming testimony that American farmers are MUCH better than agribusiness. They have enlightened self interest in the whole system. Among other things, Pat and his in-laws have a large man made lake on the property. They have had eagles nesting there and we spent some time one day with spotting scopes and binoculars watching the eaglets in the nest. They were close to that first flight. Getting out on the tree limb next to the nest and flapping their wings.

    Watching the parents, -especially flying- made me very homesick for Alaska where I saw them frequently. Since Alaska is not one of the 48 contiguous states, and clearly has a good population of mating pairs, I think we can say 49 out of the 50 states have eagles again. (Hawaii probably never did have any)

    We also have a good community of ecologists, thankfully as Darrell notes, who can watchdog the eagles’ status as new development occurs. One of the issues in their survival that continues, is pollution of water and fish, not to mention other species -such as rabbits.

    As far as that goes, based on an event that was reported in an Alaskan town during tourist season… Eagles find small dogs acceptable food. I am sure the humane society would be apalled. Still, if we have to put down so many of these animals, maybe a few could be put where the endangered eagles could benefit.

    Maybe more people would even get their animals neutered. 🙄

  4. MistyD says:

    You might be right about the tasty part.

    Bald Eagle Now Boon For Homeless Chef