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Published January 24, 2012, 02:30 PM

Record number of bald eagles spotted in ND

State wildlife officials say they spotted a record number of bald eagles during an annual midwinter survey along a stretch of the Missouri River in North Dakota.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State wildlife officials say they spotted a record number of bald eagles during an annual midwinter survey along a stretch of the Missouri River in North Dakota.

Game and Fish Department conservation biologist Patrick Isakson says 108 eagles were counted between Bismarck and the Garrison Dam on Jan. 13. The previous record was 85 eagles, in 2008.

Isakson says the mild early winter kept the river open, and there were a lot of fish and waterfowl for the eagles to eat.

The midwinter aerial survey is conducted nationwide to estimate the number of bald eagles wintering in the lower 48 states.

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