I was born in Washington State and my family had a home in the woods so it wasn't strange for us to see a variety of wildlife and birds that most people didn't get to see, but spotting a bald eagle was rare.

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I vividly remember one day when my mom and I were splitting wood and she started shouting for me to look to the sky. There above us was a majestic bald eagle and we both jumped up and down in excitement. The reason? When I was a kid, there were so few bald eagles, and actually seeing one was a very, very rare treat.

If it seems that you’ve been seeing more bald eagles flying around lately, it isn’t your imagination, you have been and the fact that you have is absolutely glorious.

In 1963, the bald eagle population in the United States was at an all-time low with only 417 known nesting pairs. The bird was put on the endangered species list and for the next 44 years, the birds were protected. By 2007, there were enough birds that wildlife officials felt comfortable removing the bald eagle from the list of threatened or endangered species.

And in even better news, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of American bald eagles has quadrupled since 2009. Wildlife officials were excited to report that in recent years, there has been a growth of over 71,400 nesting pairs of bald eagles and roughly 316,700 individual birds.

United States Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, said, “The strong return of this treasured bird reminds us of our nation’s shared resilience and the importance of being responsible stewards of our lands and waters that bind us together.’’

“It is clear that the bald eagle population continues to thrive,’’ Haaland said and called the recovery of the bald eagle a “success story” that “is a testament to the enduring importance of the work of the Interior Department scientists and conservationists."

In order to estimate the population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, members of the United States Fish and Wild Life Services conducted aerial surveys and also worked with the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology. Cornell helped gather information on areas where doing aerial surveys wasn't practical.

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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