In 1970, there were no known bald eagle nests in Georgia. The national bird was extinct from the state, mirroring a steady and terrifying decline across the United States. Today, we celebrate the return of this magnificent bird.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources finished a statewide aerial survey showing a record number of occupied bald eagle nests. It marked the third straight year that more than 200 active nests have been documented in Georgia. In 2015, there were 215 nests. In 2016, that number jumped to 218. More than 200 young eagles were born.

PHOTOS | Bald eagles return to Georgia in strong numbers

"The recovery of the bald eagle in Georgia is a truly inspiring success story. This is a 7-foot-wide soaring example of the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act,” Bob Sargent with Georgia DNR said.

Sargent points to specific changes that allowed bald eagles to recover: a 1972 ban on DDT, habitat improvements after enactment of the Federal Clean Water and Clean Air acts, protection through the Endangered Species Act, increased public awareness, restoration of local populations through release programs, and forest regrowth.

If you see a bald eagle nest, report it here or call (478) 994-1438. While the bald eagle was de-listed form the endangered species list, the DNR works with landowners to help protect nests.