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A Wildlife Success Story

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At one time, they were on the brink of extinction. Now, bald eagles are on the comeback trail.

Recently, dozens of photographers showed up at Lock and Dam 14 along the Mississippi River near LeClaire to capture the flight of the eagles.  The eagles put on quite a show, gliding through the air and also feasting on fish.  Their captive audience included  photographers from Saint Louis, and Chicago. Two Canadian photographers traveled eleven hours to take pictures of the majestic birds. 

Ed Britton is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He says on average there are about three thousand eagles along the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.  That's a 261 mile long refuge extending from about the Quad Cities to Wabasha, Minnesota.

At one time, industrial pollution and pesticides almost wiped out the eagle population. However, stronger enforcement, protection, conservation and restoration programs brought them back.

In 2007, they were removed from the federal endangered species list. Now there are about ten thousand nesting pair in the lower forty eight states.  A national treasure, the bald eagle.