Professor Shares The Miraculous Comeback Story Of America’s Most Iconic Bird: The Bald Eagle

The bald eagle is an iconic bird, but not one that’s always been a familiar sight. For years, the bald eagle suffered from illegal hunting, lead poisoning, habitat loss, and more.

But Jack E. Davis, an environmental history professor at the University of Florida, revealed some great news about the bird: It’s made a miraculous comeback.

Photo: flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

His book, “The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird,” look at the cultural and natural history of the bald eagle, including the bird’s evolution from invasive to endangered species.

According to Fox News, Davis spoke with Fox News Digital a the Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. In the interview, he shared that he felt it was “the right time” to draw attention to the bald eagle since its population trends have drastically changed for the better.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Often when a specific species is in the news or authorities are working to draw attention to it, it’s not good news. We usually hear about animals the most when they’re numbers are dwindling and we need to take fast action, as humans, to save them. Btu that’s not the case with the bald eagle. Davis is drawing attention to the bird not because it’s struggling, but because it’s thriving.

He said, “We’re seeing eagles in numbers and in frequencies today that we didn’t see 10, 15, certainly not 20 years ago.”

Photo: flickr/Florida Fish and Wildlife

Considering that bald eagles were once considered an endangered species, it’s incredible to see their resurgence across the country today. In fact, Davis claims that populations of bald eagles have seen peak numbers for the first time in around 400 years – that’s quite a comeback!

He said, “We’ve pushed the bald eagle to the brink of extinction twice. But we redeemed ourselves and brought it back.”

According to the Audubon Society, majestic bald eagles are the “emblem bird of the United States.” While they weren’t a common sight during much of the 20th century, the iconic bird started making its comeback in the 1970s and has only gone uphill from there.

You can get a taste for Davis’ book in the description below:

“The bald eagle is regal but fearless, a bird you’re not inclined to argue with. For centuries, Americans have celebrated it as ‘majestic’ and ‘noble,’ yet savaged the living bird behind their national symbol as a malicious predator of livestock and, falsely, a snatcher of babies. Taking us from before the nation’s founding through inconceivable resurgences of this enduring all-American species, Jack E. Davis contrasts the age when native peoples lived beside it peacefully with that when others, whether through hunting bounties or DDT pesticides, twice pushed Haliaeetus leucocephalus to the brink of extinction.”

Photo: flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

It continued, “Filled with spectacular stories of Founding Fathers, rapacious hunters, heroic bird rescuers, and the lives of bald eagles themselves―monogamous creatures, considered among the animal world’s finest parents―The Bald Eagle is a much-awaited cultural and natural history that demonstrates how this bird’s wondrous journey may provide inspiration today, as we grapple with environmental peril on a larger scale.”

It’s always incredible to hear a comeback story in the natural world. If the bald eagle, the symbol o the US, can make this massive of a comeback, there’s hope for other species currently struggling.

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