The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has shelved plans to remove the American bald eagle from the endangered species list in time for the Fourth of July. On July 2, 1999, President Clinton announced that the eagle had made a strong recovery and was expected to be removed from the list by July 2000. But a USFWS spokesperson said yesterday that the removal won’t happen next month. Two hundred years ago, there were as many as 500,000 bald eagles in North America, but by 1963 there were fewer than 500 breeding pairs in the Lower 48 states as a result of hunting, habitat loss, and use of DDT. Today, there are about 6,000 breeding pairs.