Minnesota Bald Eagle Population Hits #1

The Fish and Wildlife Service today announced results showing the largest population of breeding bald eagles in the U.S. since World War II. Bald eagles in the lower 48 states have climbed from an all-time low of 417nesting pairs in 1963 to an estimated new high of 9,789 breeding pairs today.

This updated estimate is based on information gathered by the States in 2004 or later. Minnesota tops the list with 1,312 pairs of eagles, followed by Florida with 1,133 pairs and Wisconsin's 1,065 pairs. There are also eagles now breeding in the District of Columbia and the state of Vermont, which was the only state in the contiguous U.S. which lacked eagles until the first eaglets hatched successfully in 2006.

I was pretty impressed with my home state of Indiana coming in at 100 nesting pairs. If you click on the link to US Fish and Wildlife at the start of this entry, that will take you to a site where you can download a pdf of the map with each state's number of nesting pairs.