This episode of Avian Beauty starts with a quiz…
The term “king of birds” relates to:
1. A song by R.E.M. from the album Document.
2. Garuda, the king of the birds in Hindu mythology
3. The Peacock – especially in the western part of Nigeria
4. The bald eagle…
Actually, it was a trick question because the answer is – all of the above, but on today’s show, we’ll focus on the Bald Eagle – a truly American Bird and my favorite king of the birds.
One of the reasons that America’s founding fathers picked the bald eagles as the symbol for America is very simply because bald eagles are only found in North America.
There are lots of different kinds of eagles – such as the African Fish-Eagle – the Banded Snake-Eagle the Congo Serpent-Eagle and the Ornate Hawk-Eagle to name a few.
But few eagles inspire the way that the bald eagle inspires. Most people know that these birds are apex predators and that they are the American symbol, but why is it that they are popular – worldwide?
Perhaps it’s their majestic 7 and a half foot wingspan or their contrasting bodies with very dark, brown feathers and a white crown on their head. Maybe it’s because they were nearly wiped out but fought back after pesticides like DDT wreaked havoc on eagles and other birds. Of course the bald eagle is very popular in the USA. So much so, that in the United States, when zoos feature eagles and those birds have eaglets, contests are often held to give the young birds names.
Bald eagles are truly special – and being the symbol of a great nation is quite an honor. But it almost wasn’t so. In next week’s show, I’ll talk about one of the runners up in the contest to be our nation’s symbol. It was a golden opportunity – missed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Avian Beauty. Thanks for listening. Be sure to visit avianbeauty.com for more bird inspiration and information and please consider subscribing (for free) to our blog and podcast. I’m Scott Bourne. Happy birding.
Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.
Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.