By Brynn Walling, USFWS
From sea to shining sea -- that’s the range of the American Bald Eagle.
And the recovery of this bird is one of our greatest success stories to date.
In 1782, when the bald eagle was named our national symbol, the eagle population was approximately 100,000. Then, in the mid-1800’s, waterfowl and shorebird populations began to decline. Since the bald eagle is at the top of the food chain, this had a major effect on their population too. There was a fight for food.
(Photo Couresy Arthur Nelson)
In 1940 the bald eagle was threatened with extinction. Congress stepped in and passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act, protecting them from poaching and making it illegal to kill a bald eagle.