Bald Eagles in The Woodlands, Texas
Amidst a bustling suburban community, one of America's greatest birds find a way to thrive.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The next time you are around Hughes Landing or Bear Branch Reservoir in The Woodlands, Texas, take a moment to stop and look up. There is a good change you may spot one of the bald eagles that make their home in this bustling community of over 100,000 residents and a major employment center for the Houston region. In 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the federal Threatened & Endangered Species Act after nearly disappearing in many place across the United States decades earlier. However, the bald eagle is still protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Lacey Act. These acts and their initial inclusion into the endangered species act were instrumental in helping to rebuild nesting populations.
The bald eagle is now flourishing across the nation and these birds have made their home in our community, and have even produced several hatchlings along the way. According to a Houston Chronicle article, two bald eagle couples in the area have hatched 36 eaglets since 2000. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the two main factors that led to the recovery of the bald eagle were the banning of the pesticide DDT and habitat protection afforded by various protection acts and the hard work of conservation organizations that help facilitate an environment that is conducive to nesting sites, feeding, and roosting. The USFWS cites the support and cooperation of many private and public landowners to preserve and protect nesting grounds and habitats as a major factor in their return and population growth.
By supporting efforts to protect and conserve natural environments in your area, you may become a part of the successful trend in allowing these great birds to find a home in your community. Not only do these birds provide a valuable service to the eco-system, for avid nature photographers and bird enthusiasts, they provide an excellent opportunity to observe one of the large bird species.