Environment & Science

Live Video: Newly hatched bald eagles on Catalina Island

A bald eagle nest on Catalina Island.
A bald eagle nest on Catalina Island.
Live-stream screenshot via IWS.org

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Good news for America’s national bird.

Biologists confirmed this week that three bald eagle chicks recently hatched on Catalina Island.

It's more evidence the eagle population is bouncing back there after crashing decades ago because of chemical pollution.

Along with the new birds, the Catalina Island Conservancy says there are several other eggs still incubating.

Catalina Eagle Cam

Slow recovery

Bald eagles once thrived on Catalina, but by the 1970s the birds were effectively wiped off the Island.

This was after the now defunct Montrose chemical plant dumped millions of pounds of the pesticide DDT into the ocean.

It entered the food chain where it eventually affected the eagles by weakening their eggshells causing them to crack prematurely.

DDT was banned in 1972, but traces remain in the environment hampering efforts to restore bald eagle populations on Catalina.

Related: Santa Cruz Island foxes back from the brink of extinction (Photos)

This month’s hatchlings are another sign that things are slowly turning around.

Catalina is home to 8 adult pairs of bald eagles, seven of which have active nests.