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Exploring Nature: Eagles & Acorns

The bald eagle is one of the success stories for the Endangered Species Act, which helped bring this breathtaking bird back from the brink of extinction.
Photo from Metro Creative

Exploring Nature: Eagles & Acorns

Exploring Nature: Eagles & Acorns

Sunday, November 19, 2023

This column has a few twists and turns, so I hope you enjoy reading about multiple topics.

To begin with, let me make an observation — I don’t think I have ever seen a better year for acorns. They are on the ground all over my twoacre property.

It is inspiring to think that each tiny green acorn has the potential to become a mighty oak tree. Hooray for acorns!

Secondly, Nov. 13 was World Kindness Day. People around the world were encouraged to commit random acts of kindness. The date has passed, but displaying kindness is still a great idea. Smile at people who look sad. Write a cheerful note to someone having a bad day. Give someone a hug. Be generous with your smile.

Hooray for kindness! One thing that makes me smile is the Endangered Species Act, signed into law in 1973. It has helped prevent the loss of hundreds of American wildlife species, including grizzly bears, bald eagles and brown pelicans.

The bald eagle is one of the greatest success stories. In 1776, when the country was founded, there were some half million bald eagles soaring over the continental United States. Chosen as a symbol for the U.S. national emblem, the bald eagle’s image is on everything from quarters to passports. It is truly America’s national bird.

Habitat loss, deliberate killing and starting in the 1940s, the widespread use of DDT, killed off eagles so that by 1963, only 417 breeding pairs remained in the country.

The Endangered Species Act brought a number of protective measures, including a ban on DDT and captive breeding programs. The bald eagle was saved and some 317,000 eagles now fill the nation’s skies.

Hooray for the bald eagle!

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666