Virginia’s bald eagle population is thriving, with more than 1,000 breeding pairs spotted in the state this year.
The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary announced Thursday that its survey counted 1,070 occupied nests this year. It’s the first time more than 1,000 have been counted since the survey started 60 years ago.
The figure marks a remarkable comeback for the bird, whose population had dropped to 20 pairs in Virginia in 1970 because of DDT and other pollutants.
Bald eagles were one of the first species to be added to the Endangered Species List in 1967. They were delisted in 2007, and according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are now 10,000 nesting pairs nationwide.