NATIONAL AMERICAN EAGLE DAY | JUNE 20
Each year on June 20th, National American Eagle Day honors our national symbol, raising awareness for protecting the Bald Eagle. The day also encourages the recovery of their natural environments while providing educational outreach.
The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of The United States of America and appears on its Seal.
In the latter 20th century, the Bald Eagle hovered on the brink of extinction in the continental United States. Eventually, populations recovered and on July 12, 1995, the species was removed from the U.S. Federal Government’s List of Endangered Species and transferred to the List of Threatened Species. In June of 2007, as the species continued to thrive, the American Eagle was withdrawn from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States.
Eagle Habitat and Facts
The Bald Eagle’s range includes most of Canada, Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. They nest near large bodies of open water where abundant food supplies and old-growth trees abound.
Opportunistic feeders, Bald Eagles survive mainly on fish, swooping down and snatching them from the water. Their nests are the largest nests of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species. The largest recorded eagle’s nest was found in St. Petersburg, Florida. It measured 9.5 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep and weighed in at nearly 3 tons.
These majestic raptors tally up quite a list of facts. A fully grown female Bald Eagle has a wingspan of 2 meters (7 feet) and weighs 3 to 7 kilograms (7 to 15 pounds). Male eagles are slightly smaller. They also mate for life and live between 20-30 years. As a power bird of prey, an eagle’s sharp sense of sight joins powerful muscles, piercing talons, and beak, making them primed for the hunt.
Although the raptor is also known as the Bald Eagle, the name derives from an older meaning of “white-headed.” The bird isn’t bald at all. The adult eagle is mainly brown with a white head and tail.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL AMERICAN EAGLE DAY
Join the celebration by learning more about the American Eagle. Whether you visit a nature preserve or learn about conservation, be sure to invite someone to join you. You can also learn about the American Eagle in other ways, too:
- Reading books about the Bald Eagle such as The Eagles Are Back by Jean Craighead George or Bald Eagles: Their Life and Behavior in North America by Art Wolfe.
- Watching documentaries about this majestic raptor, like National Geographic’s Bald Eagle – Nature’s Largest Raptors.
- Listening to a podcast about the American Eagle.
- Going birdwatching and bring your camera – you may be able to capture some spectacular images of the eagle soaring above you.
- Learning about conservation efforts.
While you’re exploring, share your experiences by using #NationalAmericanEagleDay and post on social media.
NATIONAL AMERICAN EAGLE DAY HISTORY
The American Eagle Foundation sponsors National American Eagle Day to raise awareness about the American Eagle, its habitats, and conservation efforts. For more information, visit www.eagles.org.