Egg Brings Hope for Eagle Restoration Off Calif.

Young eagles being prepared for release in a hacking tower on Santa Cruz Island. i

Young bald eagles being prepared for release in a hacking tower on Santa Cruz Island. Institute for Wildlife Studies hide caption

itoggle caption Institute for Wildlife Studies
Young eagles being prepared for release in a hacking tower on Santa Cruz Island.

Young bald eagles being prepared for release in a hacking tower on Santa Cruz Island.

Institute for Wildlife Studies

Scientists recently discovered a freshly laid bald eagle egg on an island off the southern California coast. If a chick emerges a few weeks from now, it would be the first successful bald eagle nesting on the northern Channel Islands in more than 50 years.

A bald eagle stands near a nest i

A bald eagle stands near a nest, on right, days before scientists discovered an egg inside. Institute for Wildlife Studies hide caption

itoggle caption Institute for Wildlife Studies
A bald eagle stands near a nest

A bald eagle stands near a nest, on right, days before scientists discovered an egg inside.

Institute for Wildlife Studies

Renee Montagne talks with David Garcelon, president of the Institute for Wildlife Studies, a group working to repopulate bald eagles on the islands, about the challenges facing the endangered birds.

Forty-six bald eagles have been released onto Santa Cruz Island in the past four years, but this is the first pair to attempt rearing its young. Under the program young eagles, about eight weeks old, from the San Diego Zoo or from the wild in Alaska are brought to Santa Cruz. They are kept in cages in two towers until they are about 12 weeks old, when they are released into the wild.

DDT pollution in Southern California causes eagles to lay thin-shelled eggs. Scientists have been removing the eggs as soon as they are laid and replacing them with artificial eggs. The real eggs are incubated at a facility on Catalina Island, and then fostered into nests when they are one to two weeks old, according to the institute.

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