This image was taken by a camera trap about 3 weeks ago in the Catskill Mountains. A Golden Eagle and two Bald Eagles feeding on carrion. Starting to see Golden Eagles returning to the eastern half of the United States. We have a small transient population of Golden Eagles in this area and a couple of breeding pairs of Bald Eagles.
It’s conservation. I’ve always fully supported the state protecting endangered American species from being over hunted and finding ways to bring them back from the brink.
One of my favorite American animals is the American Alligator. At the beginning of the 20th century they were nearly extinct. It took a lot of hard work involving the federal government, state governments of Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia among others in their range, and private philanthropy and activists groups to save one of America’s greatest reptiles.
Now they have rebounded and are abundant. To me, they are just as American as I am. Species like the Bald Eagle, the American Alligator, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, among thousands of others represent a rich natural heritage that makes our country wonderful.
One poor guy in Idaho lost 54 lambs.to a family of Bald Eagles. He thought at first somebody was killing them with a pellet gun. They did a necropsy on some of them and realized the damage was caused by Eagle talons. They finally figured out that the nearby lake from which the Eagles usually took fish was slow to thaw that year and the Eagles had to look elsewhere for food. Unfortunately for the farmer, it was leg of lamb.
They call them glorified buzzards in real foot Tennessee where we duck hunted years ago. When the lake freezes over, and you shot a duck, if it landed on the ice, and many did, the eagles would swoop down and take it. Had to be fast on the retrieve.
The increase in population since 2009 has been nothing more than miraculous.
In 2009 there were 30,548 nesting pairs and 72,434 total individuals.
In 2019 there were 71,400 nesting pairs and 316,700 total individuals.
So it is little wonder you have seen more eagles.
And to think that in 1970, there were 500 nesting pairs left and there were a period of years were NO immature birds were seen, just prior to the banning of DDT.
A couple more years of delay and the Bald Eagle would have been extinct.
I think it will be possible to reach a sustainable population of 400,000 birds. We won’t hit the estimated 500,000 believed to exist prior to Columbus because of development, but 400,000 is a damn good number, considering how low their numbers dropped.