Biologists rejoiced last week when an apparently healthy bald eagle egg was discovered in a treetop nest on Santa Cruz Island. Due to the devastation of DDT poisonings, no known bald eagle has hatched on the Channel Islands since 1949. The Institute for Wildlife Studies has been working to reintroduce the endangered bird to the northern Channel Islands since 2002, releasing 46 juvenile birds with mixed results. The egg – which is the most promising indicator so far that a stable bald eagle population may eventually return to the Channel Islands – is the product of two young eagles from a similar, though unsuccessful, program on Catalina Island. Biologists’ fingers are crossed, as the egg is expected to hatch sometime in mid-April.

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