KEY POINTS

  • The population of the bald eagle soared, and wildlife officials are ecstatic
  • After 115 years, the first nest with eggs was found in Cape Cod
  • From a status of "threatened," bald eagles are now considered as a "special concern"

The bald eagle population in the state of Massachusetts has increased in 2020, wildlife officials say. They described the increase as “a dramatic uptick,” with over 70 active nests found so far this spring. Officials also revealed their discovery of the first bald eagle nest in 115 years on Cape Cod.

From Threatened To Special Concern

Massachusetts wildlife officials reported that it recently upgraded the official status of the most iconic bird of the nation from “threatened” to “special concern” within state borders. According to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, which is also colloquially referred to as MassWildlife, they are especially delighted with their discovery of a bald eagle nest with eggs on Cape Cod after more than a hundred years.

Although federal and state laws have been put in place to protect the iconic birds from human interference, the stately eagles have been known to fiercely fight against each other for territory. They have also been observed to quarrel with other airborne predators. bald eagle A bald eagle is pictured. Photo: Pixabay

Bitter Fights

It was also in 2020 that observers documented the first sighting of bald eagles setting up their nest on Martha’s Vineyard, MassWildlife, stated in a press release. Unfortunately, the eggs in that particular nest cracked during a bitter fight between the bald eagle pair and two ospreys, the organization said.

MassWildlife officials also revealed other territorial disputes that caused the deaths of bald eagle chicks. In one such dispute, a rogue eagle has been observed to invade nearby areas and killed the chicks in two other nests on the mainland. Authorities stated, however, that such territorial incidents are actually “signs of a thriving eagle population in Massachusetts.”

Strong Resurgence

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that a couple of decades ago, bald eagles were in danger of extinction mainly because of the wanton destruction of their habitat. Other contributory factors were poaching and food supply contamination from chemicals like DDT.

After federal and state laws that protect their existence and habitat were passed, the population of bald eagles has rebounded over the past several years. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, they are “an Endangered Species Act success story.”

Wildlife authorities in many other states have also observed the strong resurgence of bald eagles in many areas across the nation. Last month, Ohio authorities announced the state’s bald eagle population has increased by 151% since a statewide headcount was conducted years ago.