The American bald eagle is making a comeback.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced Wednesday that the bird will be taken off the endangered species list.
Government biologists have recorded nearly 10,000 nesting pairs of bald eagles, including at least one pair in each of the lower 48 states. That compares to just 417 nesting pairs in 1963, when it was feared the bald eagle might die out everywhere except Alaska.
Conservationists say the eagle's recovery shows the Endangered Species Act can work.
While no longer declared endangered, the bald eagle will continue to be protected by several state statutes and a 1940 federal law that makes it illegal to kill the bird.