Our National Bird: From Endangerment to Triumph
by Mamadou Jallow, age 12
Recent trends show that the United States’ national bird is in recovery from dwindling population numbers. The bald eagle, one of the 10 species of sea eagle found worldwide, symbolizes freedom, power and majesty.
This species, predator of fish and water birds, typically has multiple habitats, including: Artic Coast, inland fresh water lakes and rivers, swamps and mangroves, and even dry, hot deserts in Mexico. Bald eagles also frequent North American skies.
Notable features of the bald eagles include their sharp talons-used to catch prey, spiny toe scales, and large hooked bill. Contrary to popular belief, bald eagles are not named for their white heads but for their “piebald,” or the black-and-white plummage they have when they reach adulthood. Furthermore, because bald eagles have deep set eyes that are fixed in their sockets, they must turn their whole heads in order to look around.
With a short breeding season of October to April in the southern hemisphere and April to August in the northern hemisphere, and low numbers of eggs produced each birthing cycle, it is no wonder that these majestic creatures are known as rare.
[Source: Wild Life Explorer]