Annual Ill. eagle count spots record bird numbers - KMSP-TV

Annual Ill. eagle count spots record bird numbers

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An eagle taking off in McKinley Woods in Channahon. (Deb Sperling) An eagle taking off in McKinley Woods in Channahon. (Deb Sperling)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Associated Press) -

The Audubon Society says volunteers counted a record number of American bald eagles during an annual midwinter survey.

The society said Friday that 5,975 of the birds were counted between Jan. 1 and 15. Extreme cold in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin is believed to have led to a larger number of the birds to winter in Illinois.

Tom Clay is the society's executive director. He says the highest survey count was 4,292 in 2008. Last year just 2,324 bald eagles were counted.

More than 90 percent of the eagles counted this year were along the Mississippi River.

The society asks volunteers to spot and count American bald eagles to track population and habitat trends and to drum up public interest in eagle conservation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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