Today’s Tennessean has an article on the possible removal of American Bald Eagles from the list of threatened species. This is good news; our national bird has recovered so well from the 1960s, when the use of DDT and other pesticides caused the number of nesting pairs in the entire lower 48 states to drop to 417.
The eagle was listed as endangered, the bad pesticides were banned, and money was spent improving habitats. The number of eagles multiplied, and in Tennessee they brought new visitors to Reelfoot Lake State Park and other areas where the magnificent birds wintered. The numbers rose, and eagles moved from “endangered” to “threatened.” Now, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service may take the eagles off the “threatened” list. According to the article, the lower 48 states now have over 7,000 nesting pairs, with 300-500 individuals wintering in Tennessee.
Now is a great time to see eagles at Reelfoot Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, J. Percy Priest Lake, and along the Harpeth and Cumberland Rivers.