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Let’s Honor & Protect Our National Symbol on National American Eagle Day

Let’s Remember Our History: The Gettysburg Address

During National American Eagle Day, it’s time to think about protecting the bald eagle.

The majestic eagle is as synonymous with America as the colors red, white, and blue or apple pie. However, one of our most celebrated national symbols is also in danger. That’s why it’s so important to observe National American Eagle Day today.

We’ve made great strides in animal conservation and protecting the bald eagle, but there’s still work to be done. In July 1995, it was removed from the list of endangered species. Later, in June 2007, it was removed from the list of threatened species. Although the bald eagle is no longer on the brink of extinction in the US, this bird of prey still needs to be protected.

The bald eagle is the only eagle unique to North America. Its distinctive brown body and white head and tail make it easy to identify even from a distance. When flying, the bald eagle very rarely flaps its wings but soars instead, holding its wings almost completely flat. Its hooked bill, legs, and feet are yellow.

Eagles primarily eat fish, carrion, smaller birds, and rodents. Eagles are also known to prey on large birds and large fish.

Bald eagle numbers in the U.S. were estimated to be between 300,000-500,000 in the 1700s. Numbers were once as low as 500 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states. Bald eagle numbers have rebounded since and now the lower 48 states boast over 5,000 nesting pairs. There are a total of about 70,000 bald eagles in the whole of North America (Including Alaska and Canada).

Bald eagles live near bodies of water in Canada and Alaska, and in scattered locations all throughout the lower 48 states and Mexico.

The bald eagle is not picky about how it gets its food. It will eat carrion, steal fish from other birds or hunt for its own. Their most important non-carrion food is fish, which they catch by swooping down and grabbing fish that are near the surface of the lake or stream.

Bald eagles make a high-pitched squeaking sound. Other interesting behaviors include “talon clasping” or “cartwheel display”, where two eagles clasp each other’s talons in mid-air and spin down, letting go only when they’ve almost reached the ground. This is may be a courtship ritual as well as a territorial battle.

During breeding season, the male and female work together to build a nest of sticks, usually located at the top of a tree. The nests can weigh up to a ton and measure up to 8 feet across. Once paired, bald eagles remain with each other until one mate dies, then the surviving bird will find another mate.

Their mating season is anywhere from late September to early April, depending on the region.
The female lays her first egg 5-10 days after mating. The eggs are incubated for about 35 days.

The Continental Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States, showing a bald eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch, as our country’s official seal on June 20th, 1782. Ever since then, the eagle has been an integral part of American culture, and one worth celebrating!

The Maria Sanchez Show will be joining with you to protect and celebrate this amazing animal. Also, don’t forget to tune into our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown, on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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