Bald eagles continue to make a dramatic comeback in Nebraska, according to the state Game and Parks Commission.
Joel Jorgensen, nongame bird program manager, says they counted a record high 118 active nest last year.
“Thirty, forty years back, it was thought that a good number of nesting bald eagles in the state of Nebraska would be ten breeding pairs,” Jorgensen says. “That was the number identified by the federal recovery plan at the time, and I don’t think anybody really anticipated that we’d see over 100 bald eagle nests in the state of Nebraska.”
Jorgensen expects the bald eagle population will continue to grow around the state, saying the 118 counted nests is likely a little short of the actual number.
“They’ve had a chance to bounce back from, first, being hunted quite a bit in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, and then just as bald eagles were recovering from that, they were slammed by (the pesticide) DDT,” Jorgensen says. “With protections from laws such as the Endangered Species Act, they’ve finally started to recover. This is really the fruit of those efforts.”
Jorgensen says Nebraska bald eagle pairs have produced, on average, 1.7 eagles per year.