Once nearly extinct, American bald eagle population has quadrupled since 2009

Bald eagle.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 1963, there were just 417 known nesting pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous United States. Now, that number has soared to 71,400 pairs, according to a report from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The bald eagle population has quadrupled since the last major count in 2009 — there are now an estimated 316,700 individual birds in the lower 48 states, with more than half living in the Mississippi Flyway, spanning roughly from Minnesota and Wisconsin down to Louisiana. Conservation methods were enacted in the 1960s, and the bird was removed from the list of endangered and threatened species in 2007.

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