SYMBOL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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The American Eagle or Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Linnaeus 1766) is not only one of the largest birds of prey in the family Accipitridae, but it is also the symbol of the United States of America since 1782 and of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army.

Its name is “Bald Eagle” but “bald” should not be understood as “bald-headed“, it derives from “balde” which means white, referring to its head. This raptor can live up to 30 years, and its size is very significant. It can reach 110 cm in length and its wingspan is almost 3 meters. In addition, larger specimens are not males, but females, which is very common among birds of prey.

Acute and skilled fish hunter, Bald Eagle takes up most of its day in search of prey to eat. Its diet varies according to the environment in which it lives: the populations of the northern countries prefer feeding with trout, salmon, small wolves or carrion stolen to the vultures. Whether catch a fish too heavy to take flight again, they use their wings to swim to shore and there devour it.

The diet of the subspecies widespread in southern countries is composed instead of snakes, rabbits or locusts.

These Eagles are endangered because of pollution and hunting (very often in fact are accidentally shot durations hunting season), but the laws in force for the past forty years are helping to save them.

 

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