Skip to main content

Bald eagles continue to flourish along the Mississippi

  • Author:
  • Updated:

After being subject to a deadly farm pesticide and remaining on the endangered species list for 40 years, the bald eagle population continues to grow along the Mississippi River.

The Star Tribune reports officials from the National Park Service counted 38 active bald eagle nests in 72-mile stretch from Dayton to Hastings over the weekend, with high concentrations over Pig's Eye Lake in St. Paul.

In May, the federal agency will take another flight to count eaglets. The newspaper reports eagles usually lay about two eggs on average in March. The eggs typically hatch about 35 days later.

The federally protected bird was on the endangered species list from 1967 until 2007. The pesticide DDT decimated the population until it was banned in 1972.

Mark Martell, director of bird conservation for Audubon Minnesota, tells MPR that the count does not include nests outside the Mississippi National River Recreation Area. Martell thinks if other Twin Cities nests were included, the count could be closer to 60 or 70.

A healthier river, making food sources more available also contribute to the growing population.

Next Up

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.


7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 17

72 hours of case data reported over the weekend is included in Tuesday updates.

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

City of Minneapolis, Jaleel Stallings reach $1.5M settlement

Although a settlement was made, the city will not admit fault or take any responsibility for the incident as part of the agreement with Stallings.


2 rescued after kayaks capsize on Sauk River

Recent heavy rainfall produced a strong currents on the water.


Bald eagles enjoy a day at the beach

For the past decade, volunteers at the National Eagle Center have been treating the birds to "Beach Day." The trip to the Mississippi River has become a weekly summertime tradition in Wabasha.

Hundreds of motorcycles expected along Mississippi River Saturday

The annual Spring Flood Run is taking place between Winona and the Twin Cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. KAGE Radio reports money raised from cyclists participating in the event goes to the Gillette Children's Hospital in the Twin Cities.

Minn. DNR begins bullet exchange in effort to curb bald eagle poisoning

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is attempting to save bald eagles with a new bullet exchange program. The DNR has enlisted the help of outdoor retailer Cabelas to persuade deer hunters to use copper ammunition instead of lead -- because the lead fragments eagles can ingest eating the remains of deer will poison them.