Eagles in North America

bald eagle
   In 1782 the United States Congress chose the bald eagle as the national emblem. It is pictured on the nation's coins and seals and medals. Choosing an eagle as a national emblem was not a new idea. Some 2,000 years earlier the Romans were using the eagle as a symbol of their power.
   The bald eagle is not the only eagle found in the United States. There is also the golden eagle. The bald eagle has white feathers on its head. Its feet are bare. The golden eagle has a dark head and feathered feet. There are other eagles in other parts of the world.
   Eagles are majestic birds. They may be over three feet long, and their wings may measure more than six feet from tip to tip.
   As anyone would guess, eagles build big nests. These nests may be several feet across. Bald eagles usually place theirs in the tops of tall trees. Golden eagles nest on mountain crags and cliffs. Two or three eggs are laid in a nest. The young birds
when hatched are covered with down. They can fly in about ten weeks.
   Bald eagles eat mostly fish. Their good sight helps them to see fish from high in the air. They swoop down and catch the fish with their strong beaks and claws. They sometimes save themselves work by stealing fish other birds have caught.
   Golden eagles eat mostly warm-blooded animals. They are wonderful hunters. As a rule they catch rabbits, gophers, and mice, but with their great strength they can carry away lambs and baby deer.
   These great birds of prey are protected by law.