Toxic lead found in 46% of bald eagles sampled in Lower 48


February 23, 2022

Wade Payne via AP Images

A bald eagle takes flight from the forest floor with material as it and its mate build a nest for the first-time ever at Radnor Lake State Park on Jan. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee.

WASHINGTON (AP) - America's national bird is more beleaguered than previously believed, with nearly half of bald eagles tested across the Lower 48 states showing signs of chronic lead exposure, according to a study published Feb. 17.

While the bald eagle population has rebounded from the brink of extinction since the U.S. banned the pesticide DDT in 1972, harmful levels of toxic lead were found in the bones of 46% of bald eagles sampled in 38 states from California to Florida, researchers reported in the journal Science.

Similar rates of lead exposure were found in golden eagles, which scie...

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