You can say many things about our country, but we certainly love our symbolism. With so much of the United States’ history being based around symbols, and with each state having its own symbol and motto, as well as its own state animal, it’s inevitable for us not to get drawn in and actually start to care about them. About that, we have some great news from New Jersey, as the country’s favorite bird is on the rise.
- The bald eagle was adopted as the national emblem in 1782
- It started to drastically die off in the ‘50s due to the pesticide DDT
- Bald eagles can reach speeds up to 100 miles per hour
- The animals mate for life – one of their lives at least, as if one mate dies the remaining one will find another
- Bald eagle nests are huge, coming in at 2 feet deep, 5 feet across, and weigh as much as 1 ton
After having their status changed from endangered to threatened in 2007, the bald eagle populations throughout the United States have been growing steadily.
According to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and their New Jersey Bald Eagle Project Report for last year, the statewide population has seen a dramatic recovery.
From the single nest that was left in the state in 1980, the number of nests and nesting pairs has increased severely, but not as drastically as one might hope.
By the year 2000, state officials could count 23 pairs with complete nests; 2005 saw 48 pairs, and 2010 saw a surprising 82 pairs preparing to bring another bald eagle into the world.
Finally, 2015 saw a number of 161 bald eagle pairs, and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey counted 191 nesting sites.
The report was finished as a collaboration of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, and counted 150 eggs in the 191 nests.
Each nest produced an average of 1.33 baby bald eagles, hopefully leading to a 199 individual addition to the bald eagle population.
This comes as a great achievement for environmental protection groups nation-wide, as the country’s national animal was almost wiped out due to abusively using the DDT pesticide starting back in the ‘50s.
When they realized what it was doing to the national animal’s population, country officials banned the pesticide’s use, and declared the animal endangered in the ‘70s.
Image source: Wikimedia