Survey Reveals Surge In Iowa Bald Eagle Population
If it seems like there are more bald eagles flying around Iowa than there used to be, that's because there are! A new survey by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources tracked the return of the bald eagle to Iowa.
I remember 25 years ago when seeing a bald eagle was a huge deal! There were even still a federally protected endangered species for a while. But slowly but surely, the eagle population in Iowa boomed. Volunteers with the DNR survey the number of bald eagles in January. They've done so every winter since 1994. That first year, volunteers counted 1,000 eagles. The highest count came in 2014 at nearly 5,000 bald eagles. The most recent count from 2019 found 2,924 bald eagles across the state of Iowa.
Why are the birds doing better? DNR officials point to environmental improvements, including the banning of DDT, a chemical formerly used in insecticides. Officials said that it is also great to see public interest in our national symbol increase.
The bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list in 2007.