Friday 23 August 2019

Bald eagle makes a comeback as webcam watchers spur interest

 

The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters
The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

Barbara Goldberg

Once on the brink of extinction, the bald eagle is thriving in the internet age.

The bald eagle, designated as the national emblem of the United States in 1782, has long symbolised the American ideal of freedom.

But pesticide poisoning and human encroachment threatened it with extinction in 1963 with just 487 pairs left. Some legal protections helped spur a comeback.

Now, on US Independence Day, the US Fish and Wildlife Service says numbers are expected to rise in an updated count next year, to the joy of digital birdwatchers - with 15 live-streaming cameras focused on their nests in the US. Seven "eagle-cams" on Explore.org saw a 223pc increase in views last year.

An eagle-cam in Decorah, Iowa, went viral in 2011 with 280 million views, and the site has drawn in many more over the years.

Irish Independent

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