Each autumn for more centuries than man has existed on the North American continent, bald eagles have temporarily abandoned their northern breeding grounds for winter sojourns farther south. Early man lacked the ability to interfere with this migration; not until man was civilized enough to use guns and poisons did the vagabond eagle face peril. Only then could humans make a sport of shooting eagles and poison the earth with DDT, in addition to draining and paving the wetlands that the eagles needed. The bald eagle became an endangered species in the very country that claims it as its national symbol.
Today man is making amends. He builds reservoirs for flood control and then stocks them with fish, at the same time providing eagles with a reliable food supply. He establishes refuges for migrating waterfowl that, aside from providing sport for hunters, serve up eagle food in the form of wounded ducks and otherwise incapacitated birds. Of equal importance, he outlawed the slaughter of predatory birds, thereby making the eagles’ migratory passage less hazardous. As a result of these efforts, once again we can enjoy the sight of bald eagles in the wild. (Read the rest …)