In 2007 the bald eagle was finally removed from the Endangered Species list after more than 30 years. Not all species are so fortunate. There are hundreds of species that are still threatened or endangered. Each of them has an important role to play in a healthy environment. Join us to learn more about some of these amazing creatures.

During Bald Eagle Days: Celebrating the Road to Recovery, we’ll kick off our summer kids program, Fishing for Eagles, celebrate the recovery of the bald eagle and learn more about many different species that still need our help!

Fishing for Eagles – kicks off June 24th and June 25th

Our popular summer kids program kicks off Wednesday, June 24th. Kids can borrow fishing equipment and go fishing right at the National Eagle Center (free with paid admission) and donate their catch to feed the bald eagle ambassadors! Fishing for Eagles runs Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer. Click here for more details …

Celebrating the Road to Recovery – Friday, June 26th and Saturday, June 27th:

Special programs and activities all celebrating the recovery of the bald eagle and raising awareness of many species that still need our help. Learn about the critically endangered Whooping Crane, declining native bees and more!

Friday, June 26th

10:30am – River Chat  Learn more about the mighty Mississippi River with one of the National Eagle Center’s naturalists. Program will be outdoors overlooking the river. Program is weather dependent, and will not be held in case of rain.

12:00pm – Restoring Habitat for Timber Rattlesnakes of MN  Learn about the different species of snakes in SE MN, including those that are species of concern such as timber rattlesnakes and bullsnakes. There will be live snakes for people to see and learn how to tell the different species apart. Learn which MN species are nonvenomous, but will mimic rattlesnakes as a defense mechanism. Learn what to do if you encounter a snake in the wild. This program is for all ages – kids and adults! Presented by Jaime Edwards, MN DNR.

2:00pm – Mussels Learn more about the mussels of the Mississippi River and the important role they play in the river ecosystem. Check out shells and live mussels. Q&A session presented by MN DNR expert.

All Day – Operation Migration  Stop by the booth to learn about the critically endangered Whooping Crane. Find out about recovery efforts with captive-hatched chicks and how costumed pilots teach them the migratory route from Wisconsin to Florida.

Saturday, June 27th

10:30am – River Chat  Learn more about the mighty Mississippi River with one of the National Eagle Center’s naturalists. Program will be outdoors overlooking the river. Program is weather dependent, and will not be held in case of rain.

12:00pm – Operation Migration Program: Whooping Crane Recovery  In the 1940’s the majestic Whooping Crane was facing extinction. The only remaining wild flock had dwindled to just 15 birds and the entire eastern North American population had disappeared. Though still critically endangered, the total population of Whooping Cranes now numbers close to 600, including nearly 100 Whoopers that have been reintroduced to the eastern United States. Operation Migration has been a leader in the Whooping Crane reintroduction effort since 2001. Costumed pilots use ultralight aircraft to teach captive-hatched birds the migratory route from Wisconsin to Florida. Acting as surrogate parents they prepare endangered Whooping Crane chicks for their vital role as the future of their species. Join us on a journey that has been described as “the wildlife equivalent of putting a man on the moon”.

2:00pm – How We Can Help Bees Survive  Why are we losing the bees? What can we do to help them survive? This presentation will explain the causes of bees loss based upon the evidence of several scientific studies. The speaker will discuss simple methods that anyone could employ in order to conserve bee species and biodiversity. Presented by Bruno Borsari, Ph.D., Land Steward & Prof. of Biology, Winona State University

3:30pm – Eagles of the World  Join us for a special new program with our own eagle experts.  You’ll learn all about the dozens of eagle species around the world – Who is the biggest? Where do they live? What do they eat?

All Day – Operation Migration  Stop by the booth to learn about the critically endangered Whooping Crane. Find out about recovery efforts with captive-hatched chicks and how costumed pilots teach them the migratory route from Wisconsin to Florida.

 

Background: In 2007 the bald eagle was finally removed from the Endangered Species list after more than 30 years. The announcement was made at a public ceremony in Washington DC on June 28, 2007. The de-listing became official in August of 2007.

The bald eagle first gained federal protection in 1940, under what later became the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  Eagles were later given additional protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The bald eagle population fell into steep decline due to widespread use of the pesticide DDT in the 1950’s and 60’s. DDT accumulated in the aquatic food chain, and caused the eagles to lay thin and deformed eggshells. In 1963, there was just one nesting pair of bald eagles along the entire Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge – a stretch of more than 260 miles of prime bald eagle habitat! When the bald eagle was included in the 1973 Endangered Species Act, there were fewer than 500 nesting pairs across the lower 48 states.

After banning the use of DDT, the federal government listed the bald eagle under the newly created Endangered Species Act. The bald eagle was one of the original species protected by the Endangered Species Act. Increased habitat protection and breeding and release programs helped to bring this magnificent bird back from near extinction in the lower 48 states. Today bald eagle populations are once again healthy and even thriving all over the United States.

When the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007, there were more than 11,000 nesting pairs in the continental US. In the state of Minnesota today there are more than 2,300 nesting pairs of bald eagles.