THE BALD EAGLE: AMERICAN NATIONAL BIRD AND SYMBOL OF FLYING POWER

AMERICAN EAGLES FLY ALWAYS HIGH

“In the Eagle, there is all the wisdom of the world”

-Lame Deer 

 

I am fascinated by eagles since I was a small child, playing on the summer  field, with my great grandmother observing them flying,  high and unbothered. Still now can recall her words that pictured eagles like proud, free and independent, all her wishes for me to be, one day. That is what I also promised myself, never to be in the crowd like chickens but high, alone and proud like eagles. They are impressive birds because they are glorious, dangerous and intelligent at the same time and they don’t waste time being ordinary. Their destiny is to conquer the highest peeks and to overcome the worst storms.

The bald eagle is a symbol of America and it’s super power. The national bird has been the emblem of the United States of America since 1782 but has experienced a real decline in 1950s due to the use of chemical DDT, hunting and so called protection of fishing ground. Nevertheless, American Government has addressed this issue very seriously and put all possible and impossible conservation efforts to comfort this bird and offer the right conservation methods. Luckily, this success is visible since 2007, and the bald eagles are again over there, showing themselves more and more on the American sky. We should keep in mind that ban of pesticide DDT in 1972 helped a lot the recovery of the bald eagle population.

Their Latin name is  Haliaeetus leucocephalus, the largest raptor bird  in the world  with 2 m (7 ft.) wing span, a weight of 3-7 kg (7-15 lb.), and an overall size of 71-96 cm (28-38 in.). Their typical feature is white head and brown body as well as yellow beak. If you look at their eyes, you see nothing but pure dedication, strength and power. It doesn’t really surprise that this amazing bird represents America itself.

They are mostly located in Alaska and Canada but there are other areas populated with them. For bald eagles is very important that they pick up habitat full pf potential food sources so it includes water surface because they feast on fish, ducks, snakes and turtles. They do eat sometimes dead animals too, being involved in perfect natural life circle, cleaning the environment and controlling the unnecessary overpopulation of another species.  It is famous that those eagles can envelop the speed up to 160km/h (100mph) when diving but when they fly high, they can reach up to  3000m, (10,000 ft) in the air.

The family life of the bald eagles is very interesting chapter in their own behavioural  psychology. The bald eagles are partners in crime, for a life. When they are about 5 years old, they find their twin soul through the  courtship procedure:“The courtship includes numerous calls and aerial displays. Once coupled, the two birds will mate for life. Only in the case where one eagle dies or disappears will the other one find a new mate.” After the couple is found, they build together the family nest, the largest bird nest in the world so the young bald eagles can be nurtured and rise up as it must be, with this royal bird. Usually there are 3 eggs but not all survive. The father and mother change the roles and take care of the eggs equally. When one is incubating the eggs, the another is searching for a food and vice versa. The young eagles do not have typical white head and it takes some years for them to be the same as their parents, majestic and bald, remarkable.

The bald eagles are North American gems but they do have similar relatives around the world. If may happen that you are in the nature and you look up above and you think you hear and see the bald eagle but it could be also the turkey vulture. The difference is the position of the wings. The bald eagles use almost flat wings unlike other have so called V wings or dihedral.

I love their golden eyes that are alluring victory and no surrender. The scientists have been also amazed by their specific  see-through eyelids that are defined like a nictitating membrane. When they close those membrane, they can protect their eyes and still keep their main eyelids mostly opened. This membrane is an  eye protector.  Not to mention that their field of vision is so stronger and sharper than human because they also can see ultraviolet light. The eagle eye is not an exaggeration but a reality of our magnificent wildlife. Their life span is up to 30 years in the wilderness but it depends on food sources, lack of habitat or human activity.

Its  funny thing that many people call them bald and they aren’t. They do have feathers but not as much as probably expected. The bald eagles are perfect hunters that have been so much adapted to the modified environment conditions. They even can swim but sometimes it happens that they are stuck in the iced lake and the helpful humans save them.  Above all, their talons are more than famous since their gripping power is ten times stronger than one in people. If they catch the hard prey and if they cant fly long, they find a place to eat in peace. The females  have more weight than males, for about 25%, which is not so typical for animals.

The bald eagles do not fly around and attack humans but they could be territorial in mating season, trying to protect their offsprings. I believe that any animal is out of control when it has babies, to take care of. We, as humans, should relate with that because we would also do anything to defend our children. It is nothing unusual and the privacy  and comfort should be guaranteed to all animals, in this case, to the eagles too. You can watch them, observe them and admire from the social distance, without risking their tranquility and safety. Those birds are special and one of a kind for all what they are or what they can perform in the high sky. Their elegance and gracious appearance is worth of further conservation policy and engagement that their habitat and rights are respected as it must be. Only then, we will be sure to enjoy their authentic look and dance on the Northern American skies in many years ahead.

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “THE BALD EAGLE: AMERICAN NATIONAL BIRD AND SYMBOL OF FLYING POWER

  1. What a lovely and educational article, Sarah !

    The American Eagle, as well as all animals, have to be protected. There aren’t enough laws in place to protect them from hunting, habitat destruction, and environmental poisoning !

    How lovely that the American Eagles mate for life ! An amazing sign of fidelity and devotion !

    Thank you, Sarah, for this wonderful article ! Your writing continues to be amazing !

    Like

  2. Sarah’s informative and imperative article reminded me of the influence of the symbolisms of the ancient Roman Republic over the elite cliques of British colonials who would become the so-called ‘Founding Fathers’ of The United States of America.

    The golden eagle and bald eagle were not important to those British colonials, other than how they impacted upon farming (e.g. killing livestock). Once it became clear that the French military would intervene on behalf of the Continental Army (1781), the US-Congress invested in definitive schemes for designs of post-colonial symbolisms; although, they had overseen three previous designs proposals since 1776.

    In June of 1782, the US-Congress endorsed the seal design for what would become the independent country in 1783, The United States of America. The ancient Roman Aquila (i.e. golden eagle used as a symbol of Roman military strength and power) was used by elite powers to control human and natural resources, throughout the republic and later the empire. The ancient Romans perceived the golden eagle as an efficient and determined predator.

    While the British Crown symbols of the lion (England) and unicorn (Scotland) expressed strength, honour and unity, the US-Congress wanted to express unyielding power through unity. The Latin phrase attached to the US-Great Seal reads ‘E pluribus unum’ (i.e. Out of many, one): some literary historians discern a parallel in J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, in which the expression is ‘One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them…’ (Sauron, Lord of Mordor).

    As Sarah mentions in her article, over the centuries since 1783, US-citizens have not cared much about the plight of the bald eagle, and this is The Age of Extinctions, and so the symbolism may very well by without actual physical reference, in coming decades…

    Like

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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !

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