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Researchers cheer eagle's comeback

By Eric Mortenson
The Oregonian

PORTLAND — A bald eagle glides low, curving with the meandering sloughs of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in southeast Portland.

PORTLAND — A bald eagle glides low, curving with the meandering sloughs of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in southeast Portland.

At the former St. Johns landfill northwest of downtown, workers track a breeding pair that has nested in a black cottonwood tree for the past four years.

An estimated 500 to 700 bald eagles winter in Southern Oregon's Klamath Basin, where they feast on waterfowl that have likewise migrated south down the Pacific flyway.

Bald eagles are back, baby. They're out on Sauvie Island, around Bend, up at Wallowa Lake and throughout the lower Columbia River. Drive down Interstate 5 in late winter and you may see them in bright green fields along the freeway. Ride your bike along Portland's Springwater Trail and it's common to see a baldie giving a baleful stare from tree or transmission tower.

The state wildlife commission took bald eagles off the state endangered species list this month; they were removed from the federal list in 2007.

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