Bald eagle comeback continues in NJ
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation reports 123 bald eagle chicks have taken wing for the first time in New Jersey this year and the birds' remarkable comeback from near-extinction continues.
Foundation Executive Directer David Wheeler says New Jersey was down to a single bald eagle nest in the early 1980s.
"This is all lingering effects of the widespread use of DDT, a chemical that was very effective in agriculture,"he said. "It weakened egg shells so considerably that it could not even support the weight of the parents as they nested the young. We lost entire generations (of bald eagles)."
Last year, there were 190 chicks in New Jersey, according to Wheeler. Officials counted 178 bald eagle nests in the state last year, six more than the year before.
"The bald eagle is really is also a shining success story in terms of the endangered species act, both federally and in the state."
And there is more good news. The average person may even be able to spot one of these bald eagle chicks if they keep their eyes peeled — especially near bodies of water.
He says the chicks, unlike adult eagles, have brown heads for the first two years of their life.