June 20 celebrates an iconic American symbol - it's American Eagle Day. On this day back in 1782, the bald eagle was designated as the United States National Emblem and bird. This majestic eagle represents courage, justice, strength and freedom to many Americans.
The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is native to North America. With a wingspan of up to 7 feet, eagles can fly up to 30 miles an hour and can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. Eagles mate for life and can live up to 35 years in the wild.
Once considered endangered and facing extinction, the North American Bald Eagle has flourished over the years due to a concerted effort by various organizations, agencies and concerned citizens. While great strides have been made, loss of habitat, contaminants, pesticides, diseases and viruses still threaten the species.
American Eagle Day not only celebrates the national bird and symbol, but also celebrates the conservation efforts that have been made to save this magnificent bird of prey.