The status is likely to be revisited next year, and that could result in another upgrade, a state biologist said.
Nationally, bald eagles were delisted in 2007, although other federal regulations protect them from being harmed or disturbed. Actions by states largely govern the intensity of management by wildlife agencies.
Decades ago, the bald eagle population was decimated nationwide, due largely to water pollution and the egg-thinning effects of DDT and similar pesticides.
Pennsylvania had just three nesting pairs in 1983, the year that a restoration program began. Eventually, 88 Canadian eaglets were released.
Pennsylvania now has 266 confirmed nesting pairs, and additional sightings keep coming in.
That includes at least 16 nests in this region - eight in Chester County, four in Bucks County, two in Philadelphia, and one each in Delaware and Montgomery Counties.
"Eagles are teaching us what their habitat is," Gross said, "and there's a lot more of it than we ever thought."
Gross made his recommendation that the eagle be delisted during a Game Commission working group meeting Monday. A formal proposal will likely be introduced at the commission's September meeting and could be voted on in January.
"I don't expect any opposition," said spokesman Travis Lau. "The bald eagle recovery is viewed internally as terrifically positive."
Whichever way the vote goes, the commission will continue a bald eagle management plan that includes nest monitoring at least through 2017.
In New Jersey, eagles are "doing extremely well . . . better than we ever thought they would," said Kathleen Clark, a biologist with the Department of Environmental Protection.
New Jersey also reintroduced the bird in the 1980s. Its most recent tally is 121 pairs. Nearly half the nests are in Cumberland and Salem Counties, with additional nests in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties.
Clark started her career at the DEP when the state had just one nest, and it was not producing because the eggshells were thin.
Risking attacks by the taloned adult birds, biologists would climb to the treetop nest, replace the real eggs with fake ones, incubate the real eggs, then reintroduce the young.
"We were just babying our one nest," Clark said.
"It really wasn't that long ago where they were literally on the brink," she said. "Now they are populating areas statewide."
Contact Sandy Bauers at 215-854-5147, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @sbauers. Read her blog, GreenSpace, at www.philly.com/greenspace.