Photo: The Woodlands Bald Eagle by Bill Bass
To purchase this photo click here.
The next time you are around Hughes Landing or Bear Branch Reservoir, take a moment to stop and look up. There is a good change you may spot one of the majestic bald eagles that make their home in this bustling community. In 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the federal threatened and endangered species list after nearly disappearing in many place across the United States decades earlier. The bald eagle is still protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The bald eagle is now flourishing across the nation and these birds have made their home in our community, and have even produced several hatchlings along the way. According to a Houston Chronicle article, two bald eagle couples in the area have hatched 36 eaglets since 2000.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the two main factors that led to the recovery of the bald eagle were the banning of the pesticide DDT and habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act for nesting sites and important feeding and roost sites. The USFWS also cites the support and cooperation of many private and public landowners to preserve and protect nesting grounds and habitats.
So the next time you are out and see a large object in the sky, it isn’t a small plane. Rather, it may just be one of these majestic birds that have found a way to adapt and thrive in our ever changing urban environment.