Eagle population soaring back

Author: CBS News
Published: Updated:

DOWNINGTON, Penn.- It’s nesting season for bald eagles throughout much of the United States.

After nearly being wiped out, bald eagles are soaring back. But, conservationists remain concerned about their future.

Biologist Patti Barber monitors bald eagles in Pennsylvania.

She says they are soaring back from the brink.

“They were almost gone,” said Barber.

Bald eagles were nearly wiped out in the 1960s, but with protection laws and bans on harmful pesticides, there are now more than 69,000 in the United States.

“It’s hard to step away from the fact that they are our nation’s symbol and knowing that they’ve now come back from the brink —  I think a lot of people have a lot of pride that we managed to do that,” said Barber.

Yet 16 states still list the bald eagle as either endangered or threatened.

Lisa Smith heads the Tri-state Bird Rescue Center in northern Delaware, where an alarming number of bald eagles are now being treated.

Smith believes the birds are now competing for space since many of their wounds are from other bald eagles.

“As the population has increased over the past 20 years, the amount of suitable habitat for bald eagles to breed in has decreased,” said Smith.

The eagles are adapting, even nesting in more urban areas, giving a new audience the opportunity to admire them.

“To see these majestic birds is awe-inspiring. anyone that gets a chance to get out and look at look bald eagles, i think they are changed.”

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