Friday, June 29, 2007

National symbol no longer endangered

From The New York Times:

OCALA, Fla., June 28 — Bald eagles, whose numbers dwindled to historic lows in the early 1960s, are again flourishing and no longer need the protections of the Endangered Species Act, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced Thursday.

Here in Florida, bald eagles have thrived for a decade, multiplying to a statewide population of 1,150 breeding pairs and giving this state, with Minnesota, bragging rights as the top eagle haven in the country.

Bald eagles, aloof centurions of the wild, seem to have discovered their inner Updike and moved to Florida’s ever-expanding suburbs. They can be found nesting in cellphone towers and raising chicks near landfills and airport runways, along highways and high up in the pine trees of the state’s upscale developments.

This is good news. Bald Eagles are beautiful birds and it will be good to have them continue to live among us.

I am not surprised that they are doing well. Birds of prey tend to thrive in suburbia. Remember the spotted owl, who was only supposed to live in old growth forest? They have been seen nesting in Wal Mart signs.