Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bald Eagle

Back on the road on 12 March 2015, Erika and I found ourselves with a little extra time. I searched for nearby “hotspots” in eBird, and found the Tonkawa Sewage Ponds, a short distance from I-35 in Oklahoma. Perhaps a strange tourist site, but promising a variety of waterfowl. To our dismay, we found the area posted (as are most sewage ponds), and sewage personnel refused our request to enter. (eBird hotspots are supposed to be accessible to birders.)

The only saving grace was this juvenal Bald Eagle. We listed eagles in many locations during our travels. The fact that eagles were recently (like in the mid-1900s) endangered is hard to remember. They were the victims of human persecution and DDT and other pesticides that interfered with reproduction. Their recovery “represents one of the continent’s most successful conservation stories” (Buehler 2000). By the late 1900s, all the Canadian provinces and all but two states in the continental United States boasted breeding Bald Eagles.

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