Bald Eagle Appreciation Days this weekend

Bald eagle near Davenport, IA. Photo by LSykora, Flickr.

This upcoming weekend, Keokuk will hold its 28th annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days.

The event will include guided bird watching, environmental exhibits and seminars, and live bird presentations.

The bald eagle population has fluctuated greatly in both Iowa and the rest of the country over our nation’s history. Estimates indicate that there were 100,000 eagle pairs in the lower 48 states at the time of European settlement in North America. By 1960 there were less than 4,000 eagles left. This decline is attributed to direct human disturbance, habitat loss and pesticides.

In Iowa, there was no known evidence of bald eagle nesting after 1905. Thanks in large part to a series of bald eagle protective acts, the specie’s population has increased dramatically in both Iowa and the rest of the U.S. over the past 50 years.

From 1963 to 2006, the lower 48 states’ bald eagle population jumped from 417 to 9,000. In 1977, the first bald eagle pair to nest in Iowa in over 70 years was spotted. Now, there are about 210 eagle pairs nesting in Iowa.

For more information on the Bald Eagle Appreciation Days, click here.

For more information on Iowa’s bald eagle population, click here.

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