Eagle numbers are soaring in Iowa. State officials conduct survey counts of bald eagles every winter and the numbers are finally in for the most recent season. Jim Zohrer, supervisor of the D-N-R’s wildlife diversity program, says it’s a new record — nearly 25-hundred eagles were spotted statewide in the past winter, up from about 18-hundred in 1999, the previous record year. While the numbers were up overall, Zohrer says the white-headed eagles were spotted in 41 counties — that’s down from 50 in the previous year.The concentrations were around open water due to the very cold winter which froze over many waterways. He says the bulk of eagles were spotted along the Mississippi River from Clinton to Keokuk. Zohrer says he’s very encouraged by the upswing in the numbers.While bald eagles are still considered “endangered” in Iowa, they’ve been removed from that list at the national level. There are about 120 eagle nests in Iowa now, a radical increase from only 13 nests a decade ago.
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