The bald eagle is the national bird of America. Primarily known to be the bird of prey, bald eagle is found in North America.
It was officially selected as the emblem of the United States of America in the year 1782. Endowed with immense physical beauty and prowess, the bald eagle was chosen as the nation’s national bird mainly owing to its long life, endurance and off course for its arresting features.
- These birds inhabit areas mostly found near open water bodies with sufficient food supply. The mature strands of hardwood and coniferous trees are typically preferred by the birds for nesting, perching and roosting purposes.
- Black-brown back and breast, yellow feet, white neck, head and bill and hooked, large beak sum up the appearance of an adult bald eagle. It is owing to its white head that the bird derives its name- “bald eagle.” The younger ones have brown plumage.
- The plumage color of the males and the females are identical while the differences in observable traits can be traced in the body size. Generally a female adult bald eagle is about 25 percent larger than its male counterpart.
- With a wingspan of almost 7 feet, a bald eagle is able to dive up to 100 miles an hour and fly up to a staggering 30 miles per hour! Therefore, it does not remain that difficult to imagine the truly imposing appearance of the majestic creature during its flight. It is believed that it can fly directly in fluctuating air currents whereas the smaller birds are often found tilting.
- A young bald eagle has dark brown plumage with messy shades of white. They have straight edged wings, large beak and protruding hea.
- The bald eagle preys on fish- supplemented by waterfowls, little mammals and carrion. One of the largest builders of nests among North American birds, the bald eagle is also known as the biggest tree nest builder among any animal species ever known to mankind. They can live up to 30-35 years in wild and up to around 50 years in captivity.
- Flying above every other bird, the bald eagle unmistakably represents the virtues of free spirit and authority and everything that America stands for. It soars high above every other bird, living atop lofty mountains amidst the private splendor of Nature. The iconic image of the bird is found in the paper currency, coins, president’s official seal, and passports.
- As per the words of John F. Kennedy, the bald eagle acted as the most befitting representation of the supremacy of the nation. In the month of July, 1961, he had written to Charles Callison (National Audubon Society) --- "The founding fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the bald eagle as the emblem of the nation. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America."
In the wake of growing fears regarding the fast extinction of the bird, the nation has beefed up its efforts to protect the bird under the National Emblem Act of 1940.