Local News

Jordan Lake Home to Once-Endangered Bald Eagles

Posted July 4, 2007

— Johnny Lundy has caught a lot in his years fishing at Jordan Lake, but he has never caught a glimpse of America's national bird.

"I've been coming out here since '95, and I have never seen a bald eagle out here," he said.

But the chances are getting better that he'll see one soon.

Once wiped out by hunters and DDT poisoning (DDT is an insecticide widely used in the 1940s to 1970s to control mosquitoes), the American bald eagle is thriving -- so much so it was removed last week from the protection of the Endangered Species Act, capping a four-decade struggle for recovery.

"I wouldn't mind, I like to see birds," Lundy said. "The mystic -- how they soar, I used think they would be in trees taller than these around here, That's why I'm surprised to hear there are so many around this lake."

Jordan Lake is home to a half-dozen or so nesting pairs, and that number is boosted when bald eagles are treated and then released along the lake's shore line.

Nina Dulaney, who vacations every year at the lake, has had good luck spotting the birds in their nesting grounds.

"They would sit on their nest, you could see them sitting on their nest," Dulaney said. "They had a nest in the trees where the trees are real sparse. Nothing could get to them."

Even though the birds are no longer considered endangered, they remain protected by other federal laws, such as the Golden Eagle Protection Act, which forbids anyone from caging the animal or its eggs. It also prevents any construction near a nest.

Now that their numbers are rising, Dulaney hopes more families will get the chance to see bald eagles in the wild.

'It's a beautiful bird, it's the greatest bird," she said.

But for Lundy, the great symbol of this country, remains a great fish tale of the one that got away.

"I would like to see'em," he said. "I like to see the birds."


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  • dougdeep Jul 4, 2007

    My taxidermist said he wouldn't help me out with this one.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jul 4, 2007

    Oh that's cool FLSunshine. I didn't realize they were in FL. That's a nice part of the state, lots of wildlife. I grew up in SoFL and pretty much only saw the gators. I guess there might be some eagles in the everglades but there's probably not enough trees for their liking...

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jul 4, 2007

    You're right. No hunter is going to be stupid enough to shoot at an eagle. Not sure why the discussion took that tangent...

  • FlSunshine Jul 4, 2007

    As a child of the 50's I had never seen a bald eagle until my husband and I moved to Florida after college. I remember my joy the first time I saw one at Alexander Springs. Where I live in Florida many times I see them hunting at the river when I drive into work. It is always a special sight. I agree....long live the bald eagle.

  • njjeff Jul 4, 2007

    Why is it that whenever a species numbers decline hunter's are to blame? I guess some people will never understand.

  • New York Yankee Jul 4, 2007

    I was flying over Jordan Lake and saw some eagles flying around. :-) LONG LIVE THE BALD EAGLES!!!!!

  • brian2380 Jul 4, 2007

    I hear shots all the time since I am basically on gamelands, hope nobody would be dumb enough to shoot a Eagle or Osprey.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jul 4, 2007

    It's really cool when you get to see one of these spectacular creatures in the wild.

    I've seen them out at Jordan lake. You can ride a boat out to certain areas where they tend to build their nests. They seemed to like the old dead trees out in the water.

    Another place you can see them is Lake Crabtree. I worked in the MCI building on the lake and we could see them flying around through our office windows along with a few hawks.

    There were at least two or three bald eagles around. It was a real stress reliever to lean back and watch them flying around over the lake and trees. They are magnificent as they glide effortlessly in the wind...really amazing to see...

  • ladyblue Jul 4, 2007

    Wonder how long before some stupid jerk fires a shot or two after this beautiful creature? If so I hope they get their rears caught without harming the eagle. Hoping for the eagle to have babies and make more eagles. brian2380--I'm knowing you'll keep an eye for them. Aren't they magnificent creatures?

  • brian2380 Jul 4, 2007

    I live right by Jordan Lake, and can actually walk to the lake from my house. I actually found a bald eagle's nest.... and for awhile I would see the eagle flying over my pond that is just several hundred feet from gamelands. Seeing Osprey diving into my pond for fish is pretty common as well.