The Mighty Bald Eagle – USA National Symbol

Bald Eagles are the national symbol of the United States. Legend has it that in one of the first battles of the Revolution, the noise of the battle awoke the Eagles. The eagles flew from their nest circling and crying out over the heads of the men that were fighting," They are shrieking for Freedom," said the patriots.

In 1782, the Eagle was chosen as the American National Bird. At this time the Eagle became the central figure in the official national seal. The Golden Eagle was originally chosen but since they live in Europe also, America changed to the Bald Eagle, as they only live in the United States. I have had the pleasure of seeing a few eagles soaring in the sky a few times in my life, and they are magnificent creatures. One of the most fascinating characteristics of Eagles is their eyesight as they can see almost 3 sq. miles when flying at an altitude of 984 feet.

Source Rock Mountain legend post

Eagle Still in Danger

There is a Bald Eagle Protection Act that was written in 1940 and has been amended several times, however, the act prohibits the taking or possession of or commerce for the bald or Golden Eagles with very limited exceptions. It includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb; plus it includes transporting or conveying a bird by any means. The criminal penalties include a maximum of a $5000 fine or one year imprisonment, or both.

The Bald Eagles were just removed off the endangered species list about two years ago. An environmental organization in Maine has already found an alarming accumulation of mercury in the blood and feathers of bald eagle chicks in the Catskill Park region of New York. The Mercury is associated with reproductive problems in loons and other bald eagles in the Northeast. The toxin builds up faster than the birds can get rid of it, which is going to be a problem in the future for these birds.

Eagle Quotes

  • Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.
    Neil Armstrong

  • Don't quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.
    Ken Blanchard

  • As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.
    Helen Keller


Bald Eagle in Catskill Mountains source Yahoo

Bald Eagle Facts You Might Not Know

  • Bald eagles are not really bald but covered with white feathers on their heads when they are about five or six years old.
  • Interestingly enough the female can be one third larger than the male. The males weight between 8 to 9 pounds and females weigh between 10 to 14 pounds
  • A Bald Eagle wingspan is normally about 8 feet.
  • Eagles mate for life up and it may take them up to six weeks to build their nest for the first time. Most eagles typically live near the sea in living trees that are 75” tall or even higher. They often use the same nest year after year. The heaviest nest ever found actually weighed 1 ton
  • They usually don't lay more than three eggs and two is more common. When the baby eagles leave the nest somewhere between 16 to 22 weeks, they have dark feathers all over, although they are covered with down when they are born.
  • Bald eagles primarily eat fish; however, they also rob ospreys of their fish catches. They prey on other birds, small mammals, snakes, turtles and crabs and readily eat carrion (decaying flesh).
  • Eagles make a high-pitched shrill, squeaking and screeching sound from the air that passes through the bones in their neck, as they do not have vocal chords.
  • Bald eagles can fly approximately 30 mph. They are the only bird that can fly above the clouds to avoid the rain, as high as 10,000 feet. Eagles have been measured traveling 150 mph during a dive.
  • Bald eagles live approximately 30-35 years. In captivity they have been known to live for 50 years.
  • The Bald Eagle and the California condor are the only birds that get larger than Golden Eagle which is commonly found in western North America. They also have a large hooked bill and long broad wings.

Bald Eagle bird fishing diving boat stealing bait - fish

source Google photo

Wild Bald Eagles Mating!

Special Bible Quote

The Eagle is also used quite frequently in the Bible.

In Isaiah 30:41:

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.

Various types of eagles reside on every continent, except Antarctica, and there are 60 different species on our planet. Beside the Bald Eagle, some of the more common ones are the Crested Eagle, the Harpy Eagle, the Golden Eagle, the Black Eagle and the Stellar Sea Eagle. Eagles have powerful bodies with heavy heads, powerful beaks and claws when compared to most other birds. One of the most fascinating characteristics is their eyesight. A bald eagle can see a rabbit running from 1.5 Km. (1 mile) away. That means it eagle flying at an altitude of 300m (984 ft.) over open country could spot pray over area eight square km (almost 3 square miles. Bald eagles are also called American Eagles, fishing eagles, Washington Eagles and white-headed eagles.

Portrait of an Eagle

source weforanimals.com
source weforanimals.com

Beautiful Bird

Flicker -Thank you Isidro March
Flicker -Thank you Isidro March

Perched Bird

source tock photography.co za
source tock photography.co za

Eagle Website

Source Alaska

American Golden Eagle

Our Eagle story wouldn't be complete if we didn't take a look at some of the other well-known varieties.

Golden Eagles are named for their golden brown plumage, and they tend to be slightly smaller than the Bald Eagle. They mate for life and often build their nest on a cliff ledge which is protected by an overhanging tree or rock so they have shelter. The Golden Eagle is seen worldwide throughout the Northern Hemisphere and is fairly common in our Western states, particularly in Alaska and also western Canada. Golden Eagles have been protected in the United States since 1963, because during the 1950s an estimated 20,000 Eagles were destroyed by ranchers and farmers as they considered these eagles to be a threat to their livestock. This was particularly true of sheep ranchers,

The Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) is an extremely rare resident of the central forest of Singapore, where it is believed that one to two pairs still survive. However, for the last few years the eagle was barely seen at all. Thus the excitement it generated when the bird was recently sighted. The eagle hunts from a high perch. It sits still until it spots a potential prey among the grass.

The Black Eagle lives near cliffs and mountains and is fairly wide spread in South Africa. When seen from below the black eagle has windows (clear patches) near the ends of its wings. Black eagles are often seen flying in pairs, the one slightly below the other.

Harpy Eagles live in the Americas, in New Guinea and they are the national bird of Panama. They also mate for life. The San Diego zoo was the first facility in North America to hatch and successfully rear Harpy Eagle. They are largest, most powerful bird in the world; they inhabit the tropical forests of Central and South America.

Stellar Sea Eagles live around the rivers in Japan and Russia and usually spend the winter in the southern Kurial islands in southern Japan. They are also considered vulnerable due to industrial pollution, over-fishing and their habitat alterations. Their current population is estimated to be 5000 but decreasing.


Golden Eagle vs. Jackrabbit

Americans love the symbol of the Eagle since it represents strength and pride and the symbol is used in a variety of ways.

There is an annual Bald Eagle Festival held by the American Bald Eagle Foundation of Haines, Alaska, which will be held on November 9-13, 2011. This festival looks magnificent and offers numerous things to do even including photography training to capture these birds on film.

Bald Eagle Festival in Alaska

A marker113 Haines Highway, Haines, Alaska 99827 -
113 Haines Hwy, Haines, AK 99827, USA
[get directions]

1 oz. -$1577.34 Northwest Territorial Mint

Philadelphia Eagles logo

Source View Legionpost

Source Site EagleScouts

Source Image Eagles Rock

Other Famous Uses of the Eagle

The American Gold Eagle coins and their weight, content and purity is guaranteed by the United States government. Since they required no assaying, American Gold Eagles are easily converted to cash at any time. The minimum purchase of gold bullion coins is 5 ounces. If you want to purchase less than 5 ounces you may purchase coins at 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz or 1 oz. Many people invest some of their savings in gold coins for they have a good history of being a good investment. Another coin that is available is the American Silver Eagles.

Another use of the Eagle is the logo for the Philadelphia Eagles, the well-known NFL football team. The eagle is their logo on their jerseys and on their helmets. They were named initially after the blue Eagle, a symbol used for the New Deal stimulus programs initiated during the Great Depression. I don't think most people are aware of this anymore and we just think of the bald eagle as their logo.

There is a beautiful mountain in picturesque Pennsylvania just southwest of the Pocono Mountains called Eagle Rock. it has 14 lighted skiing slopes for the beginner to the expert. The elevation is 1950 feet high with base elevation being 1250 feet, so the vertical drop is 550 feet; quite the ride. I have traveled this country and it is just gorgeous year-round. This particular mountain is located near Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

We can't forget the Boy Scouts of America as the boys work hard to earn a leadership role where they become an Eagle Scout.

We can't forget one of the most successful rock bands of all times, The Eagles, which was formed in 1971 in Los Angeles, California by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bennie Leadon and Randy Meisner. They have won six Grammys, had six number one albums, five number one singles, and they were the most successful musical act of the 1970s. They actually became America's biggest band in 1975 after releasing" One of These Nights", and adding on Felder.


In Conclusion

Unfortunately many of the eagles around the world are still on the endangered list. They are such a unique bird with their acute vision, their speed, their stamina and their large size. They certainly aren't what we think of it as a household pet as they can be fairly vicious it just feeding themselves. They are very territorial around their nest to protect the young. They mate for life and will only take on another partner if their's dies.

Another sad fact is there is a large number of eagles being killed by the windmills that are being placed in the path of migrating birds for electrical power.

Watching the graceful way they fly along the river looking for a fish and swoop down with such speed, then immediately pull straight back up with that fish is amazing. I certainly hope that the eagles survive all the destruction that man has made, as they would be a tremendous loss to us all.

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Comments 51 comments

rkhyclak profile image

rkhyclak 5 years ago from Ohio

Very nice hub, Pamela! Voted up and useful :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

rkhyclak, Thank you so much for your comments.


Partisan Patriot 5 years ago

pamela

Good hub; voted up and useful but haven't you heard, we have temporarily replaced the eagle with the Buzzard since 2008 as the Buzzard best depicts the values of this Regime!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 5 years ago from France

What a beautiful bird and amazing facts. It must be so impresive to see an eagle, with a wing span of about 8 feet I can only compare it to our Condor.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

Great story they are indeed magnificent birds.

The old English word "balde" means white. Not sure if you had that in your story.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Patriot, I'm glad you still have your sense of humor despite the mess we are in. I appreciate your comment.

Princessa, It truly is impressive. Thank you so much for your comments.

Pamela, Thanks for your comments. I did not include the meaning of balde although I knew it. The hub was getting so long that there were a few things I didn't include but that is particularly interesting.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Pamela, I love this hub the videos are so great, I love nature and the animals of the wild. That is because deep inside I am a wild child. HA! Really enjoyed writing this hub and you filled my senses with view and pictures to enjoy. Rate you way up up love & peace darski


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Darsky, I am glad you liked this hub. I think the eagles are fascinating. Love and peace to you wild child.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

voted up and beautiful! Very well written and informative.

Good pix and enjoyed the vids also. Thanks for this very interesting read...


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Pam this was awesome ! I knew there were variaties of Eagles but not like this. Great job. Voted way up !


cybersupe 5 years ago

Great Hub Pamela as I do admire the Bald Eagle. I watch them often in the Pocono Mountains (Pennsylvania) as I am fishing on the lakes.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Sampsons, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub and a very much appreciate your comments.

Tony, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub as well and thanks for the comments.

Joe, That must be a wonderful place to fish as it's so beautiful there plus you get to see the Eagles. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and your comments.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Terrific hub. It was a pleasure to read this now change of pace. Up and awesome.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

POP, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi Pamela,

A great hub and I love anything to do with animals/wildlife/ nature etc. So this one was a treat. Take care

Eiddwen.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I never knew about USA National Symbol. But from this hub, you open my eyes about beautiful USA national symbol. Thanks for share with us. Well done, Pamela. My vote always for you. Cheers...

Prasetio,


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Eidween, so glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

perasetio, I'm glad you learned some new things from my and as always I. very much appreciate your comments and vote. God bless


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Wow! I really enjoyed this one Pam. So much interesting information! voted up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

JY, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the hub and I certainly appreciate your comments.


Roberta99 profile image

Roberta99 5 years ago

Beautiful Hub. leaarned a lot about eagles and enjoyed every word and picture.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Roberta, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Awesomely done Pamela. Thank you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

I knew you would probably like this hub since you seem to love all animals. Thanks for your comment.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

One of my favorite topics and observations over the years...we've been to a place in WA state where hundreds of bald eagles gather in the winter. It is absolutely breathtaking. Eagles and whales are 2 of my favorite subjects...thanks for reminding me!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Audry, Those are two of mine also. Thanks so much for the comments.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

WOW how awesome! Thank you for the amazing tribute to our nations bird, what a majestic creature. The footage, photos and article on the bald eagle is wonderful. :) Katie


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Katie, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. It was really enjoyable doing the research as I learned a lot also. I appreciate your comments.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

Thanks for a really good look at this awesome bird. Voted up and awesome


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

WannaB Writer, I appreciate your comments.


doodlebugs profile image

doodlebugs 5 years ago from Southwest

A great place to see bald eagles in the lower 48 is the Vanishing Texas river cruise, on upper Lake Buchanan.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Congratulation to such a wonderful hub including the videos. It is such a beautiful, majestic bird and at I could see it in those videos.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

doodlebug, I'd love to take that cruise. Thanks for your comment.

Hello, I appreciate your comments as usual.


imjustmusing profile image

imjustmusing 5 years ago from Massachusetts

I live on a lake in Massachusetts and actually have a nesting pair of bald eagles across the lake. I actually was on the lake fishing one morning when one of them swooped down and grabbed a 12" trout out of the water about 30 feet from me. At first, I was angry, thinking he got my fish, but then, realizing that was probably a once in a lifetime thing, I wished I had had my camera.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

imhustmusing, That is a neat experience and a camera would have been handy. Thanks for your comments.


Gamer guyy 5 years ago

yo yomama be nice


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Gamer guyy, I don't post they type of comments yo yomama made but I appreciate your comment.


Hay 5 years ago

ILOVEB ALD EA|G LES !


hay 5 years ago

i mean I LOVE BALD EAGLES!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hay, I'm glad you like those majestic eagles. Thank you for the comment.


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 5 years ago from New Hampshire

Hey Pamela, great hub, very interesting facts, love all the pictures and videos. I live on the Merrimack River in NH, and I catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle every now and then but never close enough to take a snapshot. You mention something about loons in your hub, they are another interesting bird. They have been known to swim to depths of 300 feet under water. It's funny we know so little about the world we live in, but we pick up little interesting bits of information as we go along.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

eddiecarrara, I didn't know that about the loons. It's true that we know so little even though I love learning new things. I appreciate your comments.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Good morning Pamela

I don't know how I missed this.

These amazing birds are heart stopping every time I see one. The majesty and power that they display are such a perfect choice to be a symbol for our country.

Eagles like our country can go through hard times I am sure...but they rise out of it and fly on!!!

Thank you for writing this, Pamela.

Angels are on the way ps Shared and voted up++++


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Patricia, Eagles are fascinating birds and I love that they are a symbol of our country. Thanks for your comments and the angles. Angles are being seen back to you also.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

I read this piece of interesting history of America's national symbol and thought that you may find it useful :-

" On the afternoon of July 4, 1776, just after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress appointed a committee made up of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to select a design for an official national seal.

The three patriots had different ideas and none of them included the bald eagle. They finally agreed on a drawing of the woman Liberty holding a shield to represent the states. But the members of Congress weren't inspired by the design and they consulted with William Barton, a Philadelphia artist who produced a new design that included a golden eagle.

Because the golden eagle also flew over European nations, however, the federal lawmakers specified that the bird in the seal should be an American bald eagle. On June 20, 1782, they approved the design that we recognize today.

At the time, the new nation was still at war with England, and the fierce-looking bird seemed to be an appropriate emblem. But from the start, the eagle was a controversial choice. Franklin scowled at it. "For my part," he declared, "I wish the eagle had not been chosen as the representative of this country. He is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched in some dead tree where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing hawk and, when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish and is bearing it to his nest for his young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes the fish. With all this injustice, he is never in good case."

Some people have since questioned whether the eagle would have been chosen to adorn the seal had the nation not been at war. A year after the Treaty of Paris ended the conflict with Great Britain, Franklin argued that the turkey would have been a more appropriate symbol. "A much more respectable bird and a true native of America," he pointed out. Franklin conceded that the turkey was "a little vain and silly," but maintained that it was nevertheless a "bird of courage" that "would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on." Congress was not convinced, however. The eagle remained our national symbol.

Four kinds of birds were suggested in preliminary Great Seal designs:

a two-headed eagle, a rooster, a dove, and a "phoenix in flames."

Here is an excerpt from a letter from Benjamin Franklin to his daughter ( Jan. 26th, 1784 ) :-

Franklin's Letter to His Daughter (excerpt)

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...

"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

I hope you find this useful and you're welcome to add the info to your Hub if you want.

Yours Sincerely,

R.Q.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

RQ, I knew there was some conroversy about the chice, but I certainly did not know all those details. Thank you so much for sharing that part of American history. This is very interesting.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Thanks for all that great information. I don't think I have ever seen an eagle in person, well or however you would say that, lol. I do see some birds like small airplanes sometimes I wonder if might be eagles. They do seem the stoutest and so beautiful, I agree with the choice as our nations bird very much.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Jackie, I agree with the choice for out nation also as these birds seem so strong flying high above the earth. Thank you for your comments.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

Pamela, I remember when I was a kid, American Bald Eagles were few and far between. But their numbers were so greatly reduced by the pesticide DDT that the very thought of ever seeing one was just a dream. Now the population has increased so that I can usually go out and find one anytime that I like. By now, I've seen so many! But seeing one still makes my day!


rohanfelix profile image

rohanfelix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

A very fascinating article about a majestic bird! I never knoew that any creature could see upto 3 sq. km and fly above the clouds to avoid rain! Voted up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Dolores, Thank goodness the eagles have survived and grown in number. It is sad when we distroy the beautiful creatures of this world. Thanks so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

rohanfelix, They truly are amazing birds. I appreciate your commetns.

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