To begin, a general overview and history of the bald eagle in the United States. Bald eagles were originally found in every state excluding Hawaii, and nested in 45 of the lower 48 states. In America there is only two types of eagles- the golden eagle and the bald eagle. Immature bald eagles can be mistaken for golden eagles, as bald eagles do not grow in their white adult feathers until they are about five years old; before that the feathers are a dark brown which leads to the mistaken assumption that they are golden eagles by casual observers. Bald eagles have a large nest placed high up in tall trees that can be located from over a half mile away but have a relatively low reproduction rate comparted to other bird species like doves, producing on average about two new eagles each year. Eagles generally tend to nest or winter near water sources such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs that are isolated from the human population and hold a reliable source of food. Their nesting season is generally from December to February, with eagles laying eggs in March, although bald eagles can build or repair previous nests at any time of the year. They tend to nest in forested areas with tall coniferous or deciduous trees near lakes or other water sources and their diet consists of fish and other aquatic creatures along with other mammals such as rabbits and muskrats. One interesting thing about the bald...
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...een an average increase of 4.9 active nests each year since 1991 with 2015 having a record high number of 118 active bald eagle nests even though actual survey efforts have decreased in 2015. Nebraska followed the nation as it recovered a breeding population of bald eagles around the rivers of the state.
In conclusion, the bald eagle has had to deal with two major threats before their population could recover on a national level and in Nebraska. The threat of hunting and loss of hunting and nesting lands in the late 1800s before DDT and other pesticides caused a sharp drop in the bald eagle population were what it took before laws and breeding programs restored the number of bald eagles in the country and in Nebraska. The bald eagle was made the national bird in 1782, and it is important to keep encouraging its recovery and prevent it from becoming endangered again.
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