For those who love birds, January is especially meaningful because it’s National Bald Eagle Watch Month. Luckily, there are several of places in the Lowcountry and sea islands where you may see these magnificent animals in breathtaking detail.
The magnificent natural landscape of the Lowcountry features great oaks covered with Spanish moss, rows of neatly spaced palmetto trees, and amazing vistas of the ocean. Beaufort is a fishing, kayaking, and watersports haven with many of fun activities to choose from. It is tucked away among many rivers and estuaries.
As the national symbol of the United States, American bald eagles are a common sight across the Lowcountry, which is not unexpected given how much these magnificent birds love this area.
Because the Lowcountry sea islands are so beloved by the country’s national symbol, they may be found all across this stunning region.
They can be seen along the coastline of South Carolina’s sea islands and maritime woods. They might even set up shop in backyard trees throughout the region. As you sip your sweet tea on the porch, you notice their vibrant presence.
The Lowcountry provides these animals with the perfect environment to flourish.
Due to their exceptional adaptability, bald eagles may flourish in a wide range of wetland environments, including huge lakes, rivers, marshes, and other open water areas. They especially like places with lots of fish, which is a critical source of food for these magnificent birds.
Tracking bald eagle nests since 1977, researchers have found only 13 occupied breeding areas in South Carolina (SCDNR website). But by 2017, there were over 440 bald eagle nests under observation, a considerable rise.
The mid-1900s presented a number of important obstacles for the bald eagle, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The number of bald eagles was reported to have reached between 300,000 and 500,000 at one stage. Only 412 nesting pairs remained in the United States by the 1950s, though. Consequently, in the 1960s, the bald eagle was listed as an endangered species.
As a result of preservation and conservation initiatives, their numbers started to rise once more and the population started to recover.
The projected total number of bald eagles was 100,000 at the beginning of the 1980s. This figure increased over time to roughly 110,000–115,000 by 1992. The official removal of the bald eagle from the list of endangered species in 1995 marked a significant milestone. A change in its conservation status from endangered to threatened was indicated by the reclassification. Bald eagles reached yet another significant milestone on June 28, 2007, when they were formally removed from the threatened species list after a few years on the list. This outstanding accomplishment is a testament to the effective efforts made to preserve and safeguard the bald eagle population.
In the contiguous United States, there are an estimated 316,700 bald eagles, according to the most current report from the USFWS Bald Eagle Population Update. According to the survey, there are 71,400 bald eagle nesting pairs throughout the nation.
Beaufort is a great example of a location where enthusiasts of the natural world can witness wildlife in its native environment, given its natural beauty and abundance. Observing the magnificent bald eagles in their ideal habitat is an incredible experience for anybody who value the wonders of nature.
These fascinating bald eagle facts are taken from All About Birds.
- The bald eagle, our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. Haliaeetus leucocephalus, the bald eagle s genus and species, signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word bald meant white, not hairless.
- Immature bald eagles don t develop their distinctive white head and tail until they are between 4 and 5 years old.
- A large male eagle (30 to 34 inches tall) is still smaller than a small female eagle (35 to 37 inches tall).
- Eagle eyes are no joke. An eagle, flying at 1,000 feet can spot prey across almost 3 square miles.
- They have no sense of smell, but they can taste. For example, if a bald eagle thinks that its food tastes spoiled, it won t eat it.
- On average, they have a wingspan of 7 feet.
- Bald eagles can reach a speed of 100 mph when diving for food. When just soaring the skies at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet, they average between 40 and 65 mph.
- It has been estimated that the gripping power (pounds by square inch) of the bald eagle is 10 times greater than that of a human.
- Bald eagles can fly while gripping fish that are at least equal to their own weight, but if the fish is too heavy, the eagle may be dragged into the water. It may swim to safety, but some eagles drown or succumb to hypothermia.
- The largest bald eagle nest on record was found in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was 9.5 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was estimated to weigh 2 metric tons.
- Bald eagles mate for life. Only if an eagle becomes widowed will it seek a new mate.
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