Experts Divided On Iowa Bald Eagle Population
Its amazing to see just how far the bald eagle has come during my lifetime. When I was a kid, they were very rare. Then, they slowly began to return to the Mississippi River region in large numbers. Soon, it wasn't unusual to see one fly over our family farm from time to time. The bald eagle was officially taken off the endangered species list in 2007, but they've been far from rare in Iowa for quite some time now. That's why comments from an eagle expert that the upper midwest eagle population was "crashing" came as a bit odd. Terrance Ingram with the Eagle Nature Foundations stated that they used to count 600 to 800 bald eagles in the upper midwest. This year they counted only 20 or 30. The Iowa DNR disagrees.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife diversity program notes that the winter population for bald eagles will vary. Last winter nearly 5,000 bald eagles were counted midwinter, an all time high. This winter, with milder temperatures across the midwest, that number is just under 3,000. The DNR says that year to year numbers can be down, but the overall trend for bald eagles in Iowa is still good.