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Bald Eagle, The National Bird of the United States of America

Revival of Bald Eagle

  • Context (IE): The national bird of the US, the bald eagle, has returned from the brink of extinction.
  • DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), used to kill malaria-carrying mosquitos and agricultural pests, had a catastrophic impact on the bald eagle population.
  • Due to the consumption of DDT-contaminated fish, female eagles laid extremely thin-shelled eggs, leading to nesting failures.
  • With the help of captive breeding programmes and strict habitat protections, the USA has now successfully revived the bald eagle population.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

  • Bald eagle is not actually bald. It is named so because of its white-feathered head.
  • Distribution: It is the only eagle solely native to North America.
  • Habitat: It is a sea eagle (fish-eating eagle), and so it commonly occurs inland along rivers and lakes.
  • It builds its nest in isolated trees or rocks located within easy flight of water. Both parents share in the incubation and feeding of the young.
  • Threats: Intense hunting, unintentional poisonings (use of DDT and lead shot), habitat destruction, and loss of great herds of bison (a seasonally important food source).
  • Conservation status:
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