HomeWorld NewsRed-tailed hawk found raised in bald eagle family

Red-tailed hawk found raised in bald eagle family

A red-tailed hawk chick is flanked by two bald eagle chicks.

Seeing a bald eagle’s nest isn’t so bad these days. It was definitely 1979. That year, there were only four known nests in Ohio. The magnificent raptor was leaving, largely the victim of DDT poisoning.

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (good thing for acronyms!) was a commonly used pesticide for agricultural purposes. When it entered the food chain, it had a disastrous impact on some bird species. In the case of the bald eagle, DDT weakened the eggshells, preventing successful hatching.

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Richard Nixon was inaugurated on January 20, 1969, and one of his first major initiatives was to tackle environmental issues. He signed the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency on December 2, 1970, and one of the first actions of the fledgling agency was to ban DDT. It happened in the summer of 1972.

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