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The Decline of the Bald Eagle
Bald eagles could once
be seen almost anywhere. There were about 300,000 to 500,000
bald eagles in the early 1700's. They started to become endangered in the 1950's. In the 1960's there was less than 500 pairs. The cause of this was mainly because of poison and pollution. The poison DDT softened there eggs, and the eggs broke during incubation. Another cause of their decline was sick coots. A coot is a water bird, much like a duck. The coot is prey of the eagle, and some carry a disease called Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM), recently known as Coot and Eagle Brain Lesion Syndrome (CEBLS). This disease causes open space in the white part of the brain and in the spinal cord. Affected birds have trouble flying, walking, and swimming.