Bald eagles’ return sparks concern

Birds return to the Channel Islands, but their food supply is dwindling

Bald eagles are slowly returning to California’s Channel Islands, but they might have trouble finding healthy prey to eat, according to National Geographic News.

The eagles were wiped out of the area and across the nation in the 1960s due to exposure to the toxic pesticide DDT and other environmental contaminants. Now that they have returned to the Islands, their traditional food supply of fish and birds has diminished. Scientists are worried that, due to the historical flexibility of their diet, the birds of prey will begin to munch on the blubber of marine and mammal carcasses that still contain the toxic pesticide.

However, scientists can do little but monitor the birds. The DTT “just has to eventually work its way out of the ecosystem,” said Peter Sharp, a wildlife biologist at the Institute for Wildlife Studies in Avalon, Calif.