TUALATIN, Ore. – Fish and Wildlife officials helped save the nest of a pair of bald eagles that was resting precariously atop a dying oak tree in the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.
The bald eagles made their home during the 2013 spring and summer nesting season and raised their little eaglet into a young bird that ultimately learned to fly.
The tree where the birds made their home, however, was in danger of toppling over. Portland General Electric stepped up with equipment and expertise, usually dedicated to working on power poles and electrical wires, to help stabilize the tree and avert disaster.
The eagles are expected to return to the refuge this fall.
A generation ago, many believed bald eagles would become extinct by the end of the 20th century. DDT pesticides nearly caused the eagle to disappear in Oregon and many western states.
“Bald eagles and other raptor species are top-line predators and they regularly ate small fish and mammals that had absorbed the toxic DDT chemicals into their fatty tissues," the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s endangered species expert Martin Nugent told KGW last year.
Oregon’s bald eagle numbers dropped to just 65 pairs in Oregon by the 1960s. Today, with the banning of DDT in 1972 and the 1978 Endangered Species Act extended to protect eagles and their nests, the birds have bounced back to more than 570 nesting pairs.
At the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, more than 130,000 visitors come every year to watch the majestic eagles and other migratory birds.