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Article 1 (Jan 2021): Where eagles fly

January 28, 2021
Bald eagles can be found in every U.S. state except Hawaii. The largest convergence takes place in December on the Chilkat River near Haines, Alaska. The salmon run attracts 3,000 to 4,000 bald eagles.
In the lower 48 states, January sees up to five thousand bald eagles wintering on the Mississippi River between Cairo, Illinois and St. Paul, Minnesota. Several cities host bald eagle festivals during January including Dubuque, Keokuk, Rock Island, and Muscatine.
The bald eagle was designated as the national symbol in 1782. Two or three generations ago, however, most Americans had never seen one. By 1963, the eagles had virtually disappeared.
Efforts to protect our national symbol and preserve its habitat have brought the eagle back in significant numbers. The banning of DDT in 1972 and protection through the subsequent Endangered Species Act have helped the eagles recover.
In the Chesapeake Bay area near Annapolis, Maryland, their numbers have increased tenfold since 1977, when only 74 pairs nested in the watershed. It is now home to some of the nation's most productive nesting grounds.
On the Upper Skagit River Watershed in northern Washington, bald eagles that traveled from Canada's Yukon Territory and Alaska can be seen by the hundreds. Drawn by the salmon run, they make up one of the largest seasonal concentrations in the lower 48 states.
In late January and early February, visitors to any Kentucky or Southern Indiana lake or river can see evidence of the eagles' return--one of the most remarkable wildlife success stories of the past 50 years.

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