The symbol of America, the bald eagle is making a comeback. Bald eagle pairings are up thirty folds since the 1960s.
Longtime wildlife biologist Jim Ozier unties and then boards a small boat on Lake Jackson, an hour south of Atlanta. With binoculars hanging from his neck, Ozier starts the engine to cruise to a 5-year-old bald eagle nest, towering just on the edge of the Georgia Power-owned body of water.
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Ozier’s routine to monitor bald eagle populations has been consistent – keeping a keen eye while searching for our nation’s symbol by air and water. It’s the experience for Ozier that has transformed dramatically.
“I can remember getting out of high school and just wondering if I would ever see a bald eagle,” Ozier recalled.
There was only one known successful nest in the Peach State during the 1970s, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Ozier said he never could have predicted “go[ing] from there to now – [where] there’s probably not a place in Georgia that’s not 20 to 30 miles from a bald eagle nest.”
The bald eagle, the nation’s symbol, was once at the brink of extinction. But it is making a huge comeback thanks to conservation efforts across the country to save them. Experts call it one of the greatest conservation stories in North American history, making a comeback from fewer than 500 eagle pairings in the 1960s.
The nationwide count has since soared to literally more than 30 times that – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated 16,048 pairs in 2009.
This is amazing news! America is winning in a lot of ways.