A Lesson of Bald Eagles
Kevin Salwen on Culture
Perspective is everything, and it's interesting to learn how one person's 'endangered' can be another person's nuisance. This week, the U.S. government announced that the bald eagle, America's symbol of freedom, will be removed from the list of endangered species. Efforts to repopulate the endangered bird are succeeding.
But there is one place in America where bald eagles rule and some humans are beginning to feel endangered, ABC News reports. In Homer, Alaska, eagles can be found perched on movie theatres, cars, light posts and dozens at a time on rooftops. They collide with traffic and are accused of stealing pets out of yards.
Ed Bailey, a retired federal biologist, said the bald eagles have become a town menace, to the point where people even have resorted to shooting them. 'I've interviewed several people that said, 'I've handled my problem after my chicken coop was raided several times by eagles,' ' Bailey told the network. 'I said, 'How's that?' [and they said] 'Well, with a twenty-two.' '
The population of bald eagles in Homer has grown from about five a couple of decades ago to a daily average of 150, and sometimes hundreds more. If you've seen close up photographs of bald eagles with fish in their beaks, odds are they were taken in the Homer area.
But critics say it is dangerous to have so many predators in one small place. As a result, the city council has banned eagle feeding -- at least the kind that has allowed amateur photographers to get fantastic close-up action.
So, while nature lovers in America can stand and cheer the resuscitation of a species, folks in Homer appear to be doing a lot less celebrating. Reminds me of that old political expression: Where you stand is where you sit.