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Bald Eagles, Our National Bird And Emblem
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Bald Eagles, Our National Bird And Emblem

The American Bald Eagle is a unique bird of prey to North America.

With the adoption of the Great Seal of the United States in 1782 the American Bald Eagle became our nations emblem. On the eagles breast is a shield with thirteen red and white stripes and stars. On the emblem the eagle is holding an olive branch in one talon and thirteen arrows in the other. In it's beak it holds a scroll with what was at one time our nations motto, "E Pluribus Unum."

The phrase "E Pluribus Unum" translates into "out of many, one", referring to the original 13 colonies becoming the one, "United States." Whether by coincidence or by design, the phrase "E Pluribus Unum" also has 13 letters. "In God We Trust" replaced "E Bluribus Unum" as our nations motto and signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

The scientific name for the Bald Eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus. For the not so scientific minds as myself that translates into, "sea eagle with white head." The word "bald" was more used at one time to mean white or white stripped, not hairless. The Bald Eagle is also a unique bird of prey to North America ranging from Mexico on into Canada.

When the first settlers reached our shores Bald Eagle populations were believed to be near 1/2 million birds, but their numbers steadily declined due to many reasons but the loss of habitat is considered the most damaging to their decline. Some were killed outright as many of the early settlers believed they were killing their chickens, sheep, and other livestock. An estimated 100,000 birds were killed early in this century as the Alaska fishermen thought they were destroying the salmon population.

The public began to notice the decline or Bald Eagles and in the 1940's the Bald Eagle Protection Act was passed to protect the eagles due to their diminishing population. This helped to protect the eagles but unfortunately this was about the time DDT came into use as a pesticide. The DDT poisoned the birds and more severely effected their eggs. The poison made the egg shells too soft to go through the 35 day incubation period or did not hatch due to high levels of the poison in the adult birds.

Eagle populations continued to decline and were added to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and signed into law by President Nixon. It was believe that there were less than 500 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles at that time. DDT was also banned a few years later which also help the great comeback of our eagles.

Due to conversation efforts of many conversation groups and recognized as an Endangered Species the Bald Eagle continues to make a great comeback today. There are estimated to be over 70,000 birds in the wild today. About half of that number are in Alaska and another 20,000 are in British Columbia.

Bald Eagles have been in the news lately with somewhat controversial permits that have been issued by the Federal Government to the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming. The permits will allowing the tribe to kill 2 Bald Eagles for their religious ceremonies. The Eastern Shoshone, who share the reservation with the Northern Arapaho, oppose the permits and killing of the eagles. Also the federal law is in conflict with Wyoming's state laws with prohibit the killing of eagles. The whole matter will likely be tied up in the courts for some time.

Today Bald Eagles have been removed from the endangered species and threatened wildlife lists, but are still protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act. I've had the pleasure of being able to observe several Bald Eagles on our area lakes in northwest Louisiana thanks to organizations like the Raptor Resource Project.

Falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls are the focus of the Raptor Resource Project. Members of this non-profit group have been observing a nesting pair of Bald Eagles via live streaming video cam for several years now. The streaming video is available and live 24/7 and is estimated that 25 million people around the world have been able to view the eagles from their computer and those numbers continue to increase. The nest is in Decorah, Iowa and this nesting pair now have 3 baby eaglets to tend to. Beautiful sight and surroundings.


Street Talk

Lemuel  

Thanks Kevin for sharing this great live video cam. I can see now the eagles. Great article as well.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank Lemuel...I watch them off and on all day....They do take very good care of their young...appreciate the visit

Reply
  about 6 years ago
C4rmen  

I love the meanings inbedded in other meaning within your article. Fascinating facts. Good read, thanks.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks C4man and thanks for the visit.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you for this very unique and fascinating article, Kevin. I'm so glad the eagles are making a comeback.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Hi Georgia and thanks for the visit....I've been watching them for about 6 or 7 weeks now.....Sometimes the camera will pan around to see the country side around them...

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great to hear there is a comeback in population levels. One thing about the two legged specie called humans, we do attempt to kill off everything without thinking. Love the live stream cam will be watching that daily.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Rob....I got to see the third egg as it was hatching... Little eaglet had about a dime size hole and you could see it moving in the egg....appreciate the visit..

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Ken, Thanks for the history and current events story! I've seen many bald eagles over the years. Incredibly beautiful picture. Wonderful choice of article with photo pairing. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks Cynthia and appreciate the visit..

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I live about 21 miles from the Mississippi River . The Bald Eagle has been brought from the point of endangered species to being plentiful. they are marvelous birds. Thanks for the article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Hi Shawn and thanks for the visit...I was truly excited when I saw my first eagle in the wild..Very majestic...

Reply
  about 6 years ago
AJ  

I was lucky enough to see Bald Eagles nesting on a lake in Alaska a few years back and it was amazing. Every once in a while I see one locally, but they are few and far between. Great information hear about the history of bald eagles, thanks!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks AJ...appreciate the visit

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Kevin, I live on the shores of Lake Erie and we have seen a great rebound in their population in the last ten years. thanks for an informative article

Reply
  about 6 years ago

That's good news John...Don't believe I've seen an Eagle in our area till about 15 or so years ago and I've spent a good bit of time in the outdoors. Starting to see them more regularly now.. Thanks for the visit.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Good to hear the bald eagle's off the endangered species list. Always amazed at how cameras can catch the every move in the wildlife.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I've really been enjoying watching. Thanks for visiting..

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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