Bald eagles making comeback to Orange County

Bald eagles making comeback to Orange County

The comeback of bald eagles, a species of eagles that had once reached on the verge of extinction, has broadened in California as a pair of the bird has been spotted at the Irvine Lake in Orange County.

Biologists are excited to spot a pair of bald eagles off the 241 toll road in Orange County, where they have not been seen since the 1920s. Previously, the birds of this species were making a comeback only at inland Southern California mountain lakes.

The Irvine Lake pair of bald eagles is said to be breeding there since 2011. Each year, the pair has been raising two chicks per season at the popular fishing lake. This year, the pair along with its two grown chicks was spotted.

Raptor expert Scott Thomas, who has been monitoring birds of prey in the county for more than two decades, said, "This pair came from the north somewhere, we don't know why or how. It's a range expansion, back into where they were supposed to be."

DeeDee Gollwitzer, a wildlife photographer, captured some photos of the pair. She expressed hope that she would be able to take more photos of the pair in the future. She added that it was very exciting for her that it was the first known bald eagle pair in Orange County in the last nine decades.

Various species of eagles suffered steep decline in their numbers as the remnants of DDT pesticide accumulated in their tissues, which in turn caused them to lay eggs with shells so weak they couldn't hatch survivable offspring. However, eagles and other raptors started recovering gradually after the government put a ban on use of DDT in the early 1970s.

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