The Bald Eagle (True Books, American Symbols)

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. What is the national emblem of the United States?
The Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle represents strength and power. Bald eagles are only found in North America. The largest population of bald eagles is in Alaska, and the second largest population is in Florida. The bald eagle is on U.S. money (including the quarter, half dollar, and one dollar bill), U.S. government buildings, U.S. passports, and is on the logo for the U.S. Post Office.

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2. What did Benjamin Franklin suggest for the U.S. national emblem?
A wild turkey. On July 4, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams were chosen to pick a national emblem. When Franklin suggested a wild turkey, Jefferson and Adams disagreed. 1776 was a busy year for the United States; it declared its independence from Britain, was fighting the American Revolution, and was setting up a new government. Therefore, the job of choosing a national emblem was put off for a while. In 1782, William Barton suggested a bald eagle as a national emblem, and Congress approved it.

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3. What is the Great Seal of the United States?
The Bald Eagle. In 1782, William Barton suggested a bald eagle as a national emblem. He drew a bald eagle and showed it to Congress, the lawmaking body of the U.S. government. Congress voted to make the bald eagle the subject of the new Great Seal of the United States. The bald eagle is strong, fast, and has a big wing span. Did you know the wing span of a bald eagle is 6 to 7 feet, and it can fly between 20 and 60 miles per hour?

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4. What does the Great Seal have in its feet?
An olive branch and thirteen arrows. In its right foot, the bald eagle holds an olive branch which symbolizes peace. In its left foot, the bald eagle holds thirteen arrows which symbolize the thirteen colonies' willingness to fight for their freedom. The Great Seal also has thirteen stars above its head representing the thirteen original colonies, a shield with thirteen stripes on its chest, and a ribbon in its beak with the Latin words E Pluribus Unum. This means "From the Many, One," and it refers to how one unified country had been formed from thirteen colonies.

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5. Where did the bald eagle get its name?
From the Old English word balde. The name bald eagle does not mean the eagle is bald. The bald eagle got its name from the Old English word balde. Balde means "white." White feathers cover the bald eagle's head, neck, and tail. The body of the bald eagle is covered with brownish-black feathers. Did you know the bald eagle has about seven thousand feathers? Did you know the bald eagle's beak, eyes, and feet are yellow? Did you know a baby bald eagle is called an eaglet?

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Congress: Law-making branch of the United States Government
Emblem: Symbol; something that stands for an idea, belief, or nation
Endangered: In danger of becoming extinct, or dying out
Refuge: Place where animals can live safely and not be hunted or hurt by people
Symbol: Something that stands for another thing
Talons: Sharp claws

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a. How many toes does a bald eagle have on each foot?
Four. The bald eagle has 3 toes in front and one toe in back. The back toe is used like a thumb. Did you know the end of each toe has a sharp claw called a talon? A talon is long, curved, and dark. To catch its food, the bald eagle spots its food, swoops down, and grabs the fish or animal with its feet. Did you know fish is the bald eagle's favorite food?

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b. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:

I want to serve in Congress when I am older.

The dolphin is the emblem for Miami's football team.

I learn about endangered species at the zoo.

A refuge is a protected place for animals to live in peace.

A wolf is the symbol for my school.

The eagle's talons help him catch fish.

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c. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about the Bald Eagle:
Audubon: Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle Information

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