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The song playing is called "Gathering of Eagles sung by Rita Coolidge (Walela)

My Favorite Web Sites

National Foundation to Protect America's Eagles
A Congress of Eagle's
Webcam of Bald Eagle
LuckyMan's Homepage


by Emily M. Parris

The eagle is a magnificent bird
Who soars with graceful ease
He's a symbol of our heritage
As he glides upon the breeze

He's a symbol of our freedom
In his soaring boundless flight
A beacon for humanity
And a splendid, noble sight

His huge wingspan maneuvers him
In boundless soaring flight
Oh eagle, in your majesty
May we follow you tonight

May we soar like eagles on the wings
Of dreams composed of light
Oh, eagle, in your splendor
May we follow you tonight

Eagle is the common name for a number of diurnal birds of prey, some of which are the largest members of their family which also includes kites, hawks, buzzards, and certain vultures. The name eagle is somewhat loosely applied, as several of the groups are not particularly closely related to one another, and some birds called hawks are larger than some called eagles.

Congress chose the American Bald Eagle in 1782 as the emblem of the United States. On the national seal the eagle is shown with its wings spread, holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. Only two species of eagles are found in the North America, the bald eagle and the Golden Eagle.

The world's 59 species of eagles are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are four major groups of eagles: fish eagles, booted eagles, snake eagles and giant forest eagles. America's eagles are the Bald Eagle, which is a fish eagle, and the Golden Eagle, which is a booted eagle. Both Golden and Bald Eagles reside in the United States.

The bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, ranges widely in North America, from Alaska to Florida, with the largest coming from the northern parts of the range. After the breeding season the northern birds migrate south, whereas many Florida eagles wander northward.

The name bald, often thought to be a misnomer, does not imply a lack of feathers, but is derived from an obsolete word meaning marked with white, as in piebald.

Young birds of this species lack the white head and tail of the adults, which take four to five years to attain. Compared to other eagles, the Bald Eagle is a relatively clumsy hunter and fisher, and for its prey relies heavily on dead or injured fish, or those that come to shallow water to spawn. It also steals fish from the osprey when the smaller bird has captured a live fish, harassing it in the air until the osprey drops the fish, whereupon the eagle snatches it.

The Eurasian counterpart of the Bald Eagle is the white-tailed sea eagle, which occasionally strays to Alaska. It is grayer than the Bald Eagle, and its head is pale but not white. The largest member of this group is Steller's sea eagle, which inhabits coastal northeastern Asia and occasionally visits the Aleutian and Pribilof islands of Alaska. It is a blackish eagle with a wedge-shaped white tail and (in adults) a large patch of white on the shoulders.

The more common Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus Leucocephalus) has white tail feathers and white plumes on the head and neck. The female is fiercer than the male, and is several inches larger. A sea eagle and the bald eagle migrates only if the body of water that it normally fishes freezes. It returns each year to the same nest, called an aerie, with the same mate.

The Golden Eagle (Aquila Chrysaetos), a magnificent bird, is more common in the Old World than in the New World, but it is found in the western part of North America from Mexico to Alaska. It is somewhat larger than the bald eagle, and its plumage is darker except for tawny feathers on its head and neck that shimmer like gold. The bald eagle has bare ankles, whereas the legs of the golden eagle are feathered to the toes. The Golden Eagle builds its huge nest on a high mountain crag.

Nebraska Eagle Viewing ====================== Two of the best places to view eagles in the central U.S. are in Nebraska. The Kingsley eagle viewing center at Lake McConaughy on the North Platte river has documented 381 bald eagles all visible from the center at the same time. The J-2 Viewing center near Lexington, NE has a record of 63 eagles. Both sites provide viewing scopes and hosts and both have photography blinds. The picture of bald eagles in the recent Nat'l Geographic story on the endangered species act (March, 1995) was taken from the Kingsley viewing center.

Bald eagles have nested successfully in 1993, 1994, and 1995 in Nebraska. In 1994 and 1995 five nests were successful in producing fledged young.

On the average, Nebraska accounts for about 12% of the lower 48 states' wintering bald eagle population. For more information contact Mark Peyton, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District. Gothenburg, NE. 69138.

One little story that I must share with all of you. My wife Mary and 2 youngest girls, were driving down the interstate one day here in Nebraska. My wife noticed a Bald Eagle flying to the south of us. We were heading west, in the car when we got closer we noticed that the Eagle flew in front of us quite a distance ahead of us. As we got nearer to it, I slowed the car down because I was afraid of the magnificent bird was going to fly right into the car. I thought that is all I need to hit one of the Nation's symbol! But as we got close to it, the bird seem to match our speed to our vehicle. We drove side by side with the Eagle for about a half a mile. The bird was only 30 feet away from us. It was so close we could see the yellow ring around the black pupil. Then it just veered away flying to the north. I immediatly told my family that it was a sign of goodness coming from that little connection between a human and the Bird of Freedom.

Courage, Spirit, and Bravery

Eagles have long been associated with the highest pursuits. In 1969 a voice rang out to the world, "The eagle has landed." What better symbology for a landing on the moon than the "eagle". From the time that the Persians and Romans carried eagles into battle, these majestic birds have symbolized courage, strength and bravery. As aerial hunters, eagles are the undisputed masters of the skies. Many tribes have identified the eagle as the one closest to the Creator.

The wings of the eagle are an engineering marvel with feathers that can act as little winglets to reduce turbulence, increase lift, and prevent stalling at low speeds. With a grasp much stronger than a human hand, the eagles talons have legendary power. It uses its powerful back talon to kill small prey instantaneously while its front three grasp its prey securely.

Eagle feathers, revered by Native American Healers as having powerful medicine, are regulated by a "feather bank", insuring that eagles are not killed for their powerful medicine. Eagle Medicine is the power of the Great Spirit. It is the spirit of tenacity. People with Eagle Medicine often have "high ideals", and need space to spread their wings. It is no accident that men in many tribes adorned themselves with eagle feathers given for acts of courage and bravery, and that a healer gingerly wraps his eagle feather in his medicine bundle after a ceremony.

This Proudeagle site is owned by
A.J. and Mary Alberts.

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