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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Wednesday, 04 July 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Bald Eagles: A National Symbol Since 1782

Pennsylvania’s bald eagle population is flourishing according to the state’s game commission. In a special bald eagle USFWSstatement for the July 4th holiday they said the bald eagle population hasn’t been stronger than it is now in more than a hundred years, and thirty years ago there were only three pairs of bald eagles nesting in the state.

Twenty-nine years ago the Pennsylvania Game Commission started a seven-year bald eagle restoration program. The first step sent the agency’s employees to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan to gather eaglets from established nests in the wild. They returned with 88 eaglets and the Game Commission credits this program with restoring Pennsylvania’s population.

This year there is an estimated 206 nests in the state and that number is expected to increase when more information is submitted. Last year at the end of the count the official number was 203. The county with the highest number of nests right now is Crawford, on Pennsylvania’s western border that is shared with Ohio, with 21 two more than last year. Crawford is home to the Erie National Wildlife Refuge where bald eagles are one of 113 bird species that like to nest there.

"It's hard to find adjectives to adequately describe the recovery of the state's bald eagle population," said Patti Barber, Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Division biologist. “Their resiliency to hang on to the nesting territory they've established and their tenacity to expand into the peripheral areas of existing range has really surprised us.”

What will surprise visitors to Pennsylvania or any state where eagles are known to live is actually finding a nest. Unlike the birds in your backyard who sometimes pick precarious and unwise nesting spots, eagles prefer to nest off the beaten path which has made counting them difficult.  Regardless of how difficult it may be to spot a nest experts caution against disturbing a nest even accidentally. Some eagles but not all are tolerant. It is illegal to approach a nest under The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and signage is in place in some areas to warn visitors.

“Anyone watching a nest with or without signage should behave in the best interest of the nesting pair and its eggs or eaglets," Barber said. "Failure to keep your distance could cause eagles to abandon their eggs or young, or force young birds to jump from the safety of the nest with no way to return. For the sake of eagles, use you binoculars or a spotting scope. They are after all, still on the comeback trail from being an endangered species."

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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