MONTPELIER (AP) - There have been more bald eagle sightings in Vermont and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering reducing the bird's state status from endangered to threatened.
Last year 26 bald eagle nests were found in and around the state and 28 young eagles took flight within the state, department officials said.
The department's John Buck said the state has met the average needed to reclassify the birds from endangered status to threatened, but officials are proceeding with caution.
Between 2004 and 2006, biologists brought dozens of birds to Vermont and raised them in hopes they would return to the state as adults and reproduce. None of the eagles from that particular program have been seen in the state.
It wasn't until 2008, years after bald eagles had successfully returned to neighboring states, that eagles were known to have successfully raised young in Vermont.
"For whatever reason, unexplainable, they, the eagles, don't know what we know about Vermont," Buck told the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. "It's a lovely place to live and raise your offspring and grow old. But they are starting to find their way here, that's the good news."