The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for much longer than that. These birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate-brown body and wings.It takes immature birds about five years to achieve adult plumage. Look for them soaring in solitude, chasing other birds for their food, or gathering by the hundreds in winter. Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.
Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been the Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “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.Seeing these birds soar thru the sky is a sight to behold. Where I live Bald Eagles are still a rare enough sighting to cause a stir when seen.I feel fortunate to live in an area where a few have chosen to make their permanent home.
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