Question Sheet: Bald Eagles Forever


Before reading:

  1. Why is the bald eagle important to the United States? Where is it on the $1


  2. What is the Endangered Species Act?

During reading:

  1. Why was the population of bald eagles in the United States so low in the


  2. What is DDT? How is it used? What problems did it cause? 
  3. What role does the Endangered Species Act play in environmental protection? 
  4. Why do some scientists say that bald eagles shouldn’t be removed from the

    list of endangered and threatened species? 

  5. How are scientists keeping track of bald eagle populations? 
  6. When do scientists check for baby bald eagle chicks?

After reading:

  1. What role does the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service play in the process of

    removing bald eagles from the endangered species list? See Fish & Wildlife Service). 

  2. Do you think bald eagles should still be considered an endangered species?

    List three reasons why the birds should be taken off the list and three reasons

    why they should not be taken off the list. See (U.S. Fish &

    Wildlife Service) and 

  3. A variety of environmental groups have protested a proposal to weaken the

    Endangered Species Act. Why are they opposed to such a change? Who’s in favor of

    this change? Why? See

    (Sierra Club) and (Congressman

    Richard Pombo). 

  4. What is Earthjustice? What role do lawyers have in helping to protect the

    environment? See (Earthjustice).


How did the bald eagle become the emblem of the United States? See ( Do you think bald eagles are an appropriate or suitable symbol for the United States? Why or why not? Would another animal be a more suitable symbol? If so, which one? Why?


  1. Write a persuasive letter to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about

    whether to take bald eagles off the endangered species list or keep them on. 

  2. Compose a short poem or song about the bald eagle as a symbol of the United



Bald Eagles were once common throughout most of the United States. There may have been as many as 500,000 bald eagles in the early 1700s. In the continental U.S., their population fell to threatened levels of less than 10,000 nesting pairs by the 1950s and to endangered levels of less than 500 pairs by the early 1960s. There are now more than 5,000 nesting pairs and 20,000 total birds in the lower 48 states. There are more than 35,000 bald eagles in Alaska.

  1. What percentage of all bald eagles in the United States now live in Alaska?
  2. Given that there are 5,000 nesting pairs, how many bald eagles are not


  3. By what percentage did the number of nesting pairs decrease from the 1950s

    to the 1960s?

  4. By what percentage has the number of nesting pairs increased from the 1960s

    to today?