The Bald Eagle, American Symbol of Freedom

On June 20, 1872, the bald eagle was chosen to be the emblem of the United States of America. At the time it was believed to exist on this continent only. If it had been left up to Benjamin Franklin though, the turkey would be the bird we see on many of our coins.

The first three pictures in this grouping I took on a trip to Alaska.

There are more than 60 species of eagle in the world, being found in Africa and Asia mainly.

The bald eagle makes its home largely in forested areas that are near bodies of water as their favorite meal is fish, although they’ll eat reptiles, birds and mammals and are consummate foragers.

Their are several federal laws protecting both bald and golden eagles in the United States.  One of these, The Lacey Act, states:

The Lacy Act was passed in 1900, and protects bald eagles by making it a Federal offense to take, possess, transport, sell, import, or export their nests, eggs and parts that are taken in violation of any state, tribal or U.S. law. It also prohibits false records, labels, or identification of wildlife shipped, prohibits importation of injurious species and prohibits shipment of fish or wildlife in an inhumane manner. Penalties include a maximum of five years and $250,000 fine for felony convictions and a maximum $10,000 fine for civil violations and $250 for marking violations. Fines double for organizations.

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