Utah Field Guide: Sick bald eagles

A symbol of this great nation, the Bald Eagle can be found from Alaska and Canada, down to the gulf of Mexico.
Once seen frequently in the Americas, bald eagle populations began to decline as human populations expanded. Eventually the bird was added to the “endangered Species list in the 1970’s. Today the eagle population has greatly improved, and in 2008 the bird was removed from the endangered species list.

The past few months, the Utah DWR has been dealing with a rare outbreak of West Nile Virus that is said to be the cause of at least 54 dead bald eagles across Northern Utah. Biologists believe the eagles might have contracted the virus after eating dead infected eared grebes on Great Salt Lake.

Utah is still home to one of the largest populations of wintering bald eagles. More than twelve hundred have been counted in our state in recent years.

On Saturday, February 8th, the DWR will hold it’s ever popular Bald Eagle Day at five locations across the state. Viewing times vary, so for times and locations, visit our Outdoors Calendar page at KSLTV.com

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