Kimberly Evans
Animal Science: The Bald Eagle
 
The way of the Bald Eagle is majestic. I take great pride in presenting a paper on this exquisite animal. In honoring this animal it shows what this bird symbolizes to many people. This bird represents freedom for some and power for others. In all aspects this animal carries a commanding presence upon humans as well as other animals and its prey.
The scientific name Haliaeetus means whitehead sea eagle. White and bald carry the same meaning for this bird. The body of an eagle is magnificently made for survival. The full adult usually has about seven thousand feathers. The feathers and nails are made out of Keratin. These feathers are great cold and wet weather. As you look into the eyes of the eagle they always seem so serious and focused the reasoning behind this is that their eyes are in fixed sockets. Because of this they have to move their whole head for viewing but the grandeur of the eagle eye is that their focus is four to five times sharper than humans are, and they have a pale color.
My favorite part of the eagle is the bill is very heavy and large, it is staunchly hooked. It is very powerful. The beak is used to crush, tear; I soon learned through an excersize done in a life skill class for battered women. In this exercise we were to pick an animal we would like to become and why. I chose the eagle for many reasons. I was listing them a lady name Samantha pleasantly interrupted me and asked to add to that. I nodded o.k. (We were all a little scared even in this class). She began to tell the lesson that her pastor had preached the prior Sunday. She stated that the eagle when endangered by a predator will fly straight for the sun and in that process as it draws closer a special secretion covers its break and face to protect it from the sun. All enemies (which they have few of because of their size) must turn back for the scorch of the sun. I never forgot that story and it truly immortalized the eagle for me personally. When trouble is over the eagle finds a rock and beats its beak against the rock until the crust is remove but it is noted that birds do not have skin glands.
The black powerful feet of the eagle are sharp talons with spicules, which make it very easy to catch fish even the slippery ones.  The talons have a special locking mechanism in which they lock and will not release until on solid ground. Occasionally the eagle plunges into the water for food and they are very strong swimmers but very cold water could present a very big problem. Eagles have been seen hunting in pairs. Like reptilesí eagles do not have to eat everyday they have a pouch in the esophagus.
Here is where a lot of my attraction comes in for this bird; they carry certain integrity for example in mating they mate for life. Both guard the nest and only if one dies will they find another mate. This raptor prefers isolation but enjoys its mate. The female produces one to three eggs and most nests are very precisely built for the young. The young mature quickly and much is expected in a short period of time. Soon as there are enough wings are available to fly they are sent out not many actually do well on the first flight nor survive.

 They live life tenure of about thirty years and have endured much persecution as many humans of different cultures and nationalities. The Bald Eagle now has a bright future ahead because of laws and it being chosen as the national bird. Things like hunters and contaminated water added to the demise of the beautiful creature at one time but the eagle by nature is a survivor. Happily enough July 2, 1999 declared the Bald Eagle fully recovered. The final action took place July 2000. Like a pinhole light in a dark tunnel there still continues to be a problem. More than the recognizable hazards are the insidious invisible pressures and stresses for the eagle like crowding, environmental pollution and toxins picked up by the lower food chain and found at the altitudes that are flown by the eagle constant noise due to building and development of vast communities once used for the eagles.

 In conclusion the Bald Eagle is our national bird and commands respect any disrespect down to possessing one feather without a permit could cause a felony. I say we take this bird pretty seriously.
 

Sources for information on the Bald Eagle

1. Page Wise Inc  (Bald Eagle 2001)
2. Samantha (Life Skill Class 1998)
3. http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/
4. http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/future.html
5. http://whozoo.org/Not Yet.html
6. George Laycock (Autumn of the Eagle, 1973)