Bird is the Word at Bald Eagle Expo

By Brady Smith, Anchor/Reporter


By Brady Smith

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa - For nature photographer and author Ty Smedes, there couldn't be a better national symbol than the bald eagle.

"When you look at a bald eagle, every positive adjective you can think of applies. They look powerful, fierce, determined, majestic; I can't imagine a more perfect national bird," Smedes said.

Smedes and other bird lovers gathered in North Liberty on Saturday for the Bald Eagle Expo and Watch. They have been enjoying a "bald eagle renaissance," as Smedes calls it, a result of the chemical DDT being outlawed, and better conservation practices.

"The Endangered Species Act came into play, and we began saving areas where they fish, where they roost, and migration corridors," Smedes explained. "Even before DDT, it was loss of habitat. We lost our last next in modern times in 1907, and it wasn't until 1977 that we had another nest."

Now, thousands of bald eagles are nesting along the Mississippi River.

"That, outside of Alaska, is the largest wintering population of eagles in the United States," said Doug Harr, president of the Iowa Audubon Society.

But Harr said other birds aren't faring as well, and he hopes this renewed interest in bald eagles will help bolster conservation efforts for other species.

"We've started losing a lot of grasslands again here in the last four or five years. With some of the federal conservation programs, like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) being cut back, a lot of land owners are converting those grasslands back into row crops," Harr said. "From grassland sparrows to pheasants. They're all disappearing."

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.

read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG