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Pearl River Swamp Tour Highlight: Bald Eagle

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American Bald Eagles are majestic creatures: they soar through the sky with ease, and their sharp eyesight allows them to spot prey from a great distance. It’s no wonder that these birds have been used as symbols of strength and power for centuries. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the national bird of the United States: The Bald Eagle.

Our tour through the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area will give you an opportunity to encounter these stunning birds, and whether you’re a nature lover or not, there’s something truly amazing about seeing one of these creatures up close. If you’re planning to take our Pearl River Swamp Tour soon, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles!

Why is the Bald Eagle a Symbol of America?

Great Seal of the United States
Great Seal of the United States. Credit: USA Flag Co.

The Bald Eagle is a national symbol of America because of its distinct physical features and its patriotic history. These strong birds are a national emblem of power and freedom, with an average height of 2 to 3 feet and a wingspan of up to 6.5 feet. The bald eagle was officially adopted as a national symbol in 1782, roughly 5 years after a drawing of this incredible bird was shown to the newly formed Congress.

This impressive predatory bird ranges from the borders of Mexico all the way into Alaska, making it the only eagle uniquely native to North America, thus playing a huge part in American representation. These birds are truly awe-inspiring, and their symbolism is an important part of what makes America great. 

The Bald Eagle Habitat

A bald eagle on a perch in the Mississippi River Delta

The bald eagle is one of the most iconic birds in North America. With its distinctive white head and yellow beak, they are relatively easy to spot. But where do these magnificent creatures live? Bald eagles build their nests in tall trees and often inhabit areas near bodies of water, such as large lakes, swamps, rivers, and coastlines since their diet consists of mostly fish. In fact, these stunning predators are known to be adept fishermen, stealing fish from other birds or even from human anglers when given the opportunity! 

In the wild, bald eagles can live up to 30 years, though they were once on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. Thankfully, due to conservation efforts, they were delisted as an Endangered Species in 2007 and are making a comeback in many parts of North America. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these great birds of prey in the wild, it’s sure to be a memorable experience. 

The Bald Eagle Diet 

A bald eagle eats its prey while perched on a boulder
Source: Photograph by David Bahr.

The bald eagle is a fierce predator, capable of taking down large prey with ease. However, these birds are not picky eaters and will opportunistically feed on available prey which includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. While most of their diet consists of fish, they have been known to take down animals as large as deer.

In addition to hunting for their own food, these apex predators will also scavenge for carrion which helps to supplement their diet and provides them with an easy source of food. They typically hunt from a perch, swooping down on their prey with powerful talons. These distinct physical features make bald eagles skilled avian hunters, and they have been known to reach speeds of up to 99 miles per hour when diving for prey. Since they typically occupy the top of the food chain, these magnificent birds play a vital role in the ecosystem. 

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or looking to venture out of the hustle and bustle of New Orleans, look no further than Pearl River Swamp Tours in New Orleans. Our tour will take you through the remote Honey Island Swamp, where you’ll have a chance to spot these majestic birds in their natural habitat. Book your tour today and prepare to be amazed!

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