Bald eagle pairs skyrocketing along James River in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new survey shows that the bald eagle population in the James River region has topped 200 pairs for the first time since good written accounts began in the 1930s.

The survey was done by the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University earlier this year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the survey found 205 eagle pairs along the James. That's more than triple the 56 pairs in 2000.

The head of the conservation center and eagle expert Bryan Watts says there were just 33 pairs of eagles in Virginia in 1977. Along the James, there were zero.

Today, a nearly 40-mile stretch of the James harbors one of the country's top concentrations of eagles, herons and other fish-eating birds.