Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bald Eagle

Bald eagles have a wing span of 80 inches with a body length of about 31 inches. This bird prefers open or wooded areas close to water. They tend to mate for life, raising 1 to 3 chicks in an eyrie 150 feet off the ground in a tree. Some nests weigh up to 1,000 pounds.

In the culture of the First Nations, including the Haida on the west coast in British Columbia, the eagle is revered as a bird of power and strength. The eagle also represents strength, courage, honesty, truth, majesty, wisdom and freedom. The traditional legends believe the eagle is a messenger of God, carrying prayers from men of the earth. It is a great privilege to receive an eagle feather, representing gratitude, love and respect.

The Haida have lineages under either "eagles" or "ravens" and use these birds as crests on their totem poles. The animals beneath them belong to the lineage of the family.

Unfortunately, these birds remain on the endangered species list despite a remarkable comeback.

Reference: http://dcp.psc.gov/ccbulletin/articles/AIANCOLogo.htm ;
http://www.haidadesigns.com/culture.htm ;
A Field Guide to the Birds of North America by Michael Vanner, Paragon Publishing (2006), p.77

Photo Credit:  Chris and Lara Pawluk CC=nc-nd-flickr (Bald Eagle in the Rockies)


Leah J. Utas said...

I love Bald Eagles.

RuneE said...

An impressive bird! No wonder there are many traditions and rituals in the folklore.

A Merry Christmas to you and your dear ones, too!

Charles Gramlich said...

Beautiful creatures!

Phoenix C. said...

What an amazing looking bird, and such interesting history. A pity it is an endangered species.

Wishing you a lovely time over the holiday season, Barbara.