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its relative, but which, after the third year, has the head, neck, and tail pure white, the rest of the plumage being deep chocolate, approaching black. In size, however, it is rather less, being about thirty-four or thirty-six inches

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in length, and upwards of seven feet in the expanse of its wings.

This noble bird is, if ever seen in Europe, to be regarded only as an accidental visitor ; in America, it is spread throughout nearly the whole of the northern division, and abounds in the vicinity of the falls of Niagara, not merely for the purpose of obtaining fish, but of seizing on such unwary animals as are hurried down the stream to destruction. It is emblazoned on the national standard of the United States. The food of this Eagle consists of fish, pigs, lambs, fawns, waterfowl, and putrid carcases. Wilson

says, “We have seen the Bald Eagle,” its common name in America, “ while seated on the dead carcase of a horse, keep a whole flock of vultures at a respectful distance, until he had fully sated his own appetite;" and he also mentions an instance in which flocks of vultures, feeding on some thousands of tree-squirrels, drowned in attempting to pass the Ohio, during one of their migrations, were all dispersed by a Bald Eagle, who drove them from the feast, of which he kept sole possession for several successive days. The following extract is from Audubon's Ornithological Biography of the Birds of the United States of America. “ To give you,” says he, “some idea of the nature of this bird, permit me to place you on the Mississippi, on which you may float gently along, while approaching winter brings millions of waterfowl, on whistling wings, from the countries of the north, to seek a milder climate in which to sojourn for a season. The Eagle is seen perched in an erect attitude on the highest summit of the tallest tree, by the margin of the broad stream. His glistening but stern eye looks over the vast expanse ; he listens attentively to every sound that comes to his quick ear from afar, glancing now and then on the earth beneath, lest even the light tread of the fawn may pass unheard. His mate is perched on the opposite side, and, should all be tranquil and silent, warns him by a cry to continue patient. At this well known call the male partly opens his broad wings, inclines his body a little downwards, and answers to her voice in tones not unlike the laugh of a maniac. The next moment he resumes his erect attitude, and again all around is silent. Ducks of many species, the teal, the wigeon, the mallard, and others, are seen passing with great rapidity, and following the course of the current; but the Eagle heeds them not, they are at that time beneath his attention. The next moment, however, the wild, trumpet-like sound of a yet distant but approaching swan is heard. A shriek from the female Eagle comes across the stream; for, kind reader, she is fully as alert as her mate. The latter suddenly shakes the whole of his body, and with a few touches of his bill, aided by the action of his cuticular muscles, arranges his plumage in an instant. The snowwhite bird is now in sight; her long neck is stretched

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forward; her

eye is on the watch, vigilant as that of her enemy; her large wings seem with difficulty to support the weight of her body, although they flap incessantly. So irksome do her exertions seem, that her very legs are spread beneath her tail to aid her flight. She approaches, however. The Eagle has marked her for his prey.

As the swan is passing the dreaded pair, the male bird starts from his perch, in full preparation for the chase, with an awful scream that to the swan's ear brings more terror than the report of the large duck-gun. Now is the moment to witness the Eagle's powers. He glides through the air like a falling star, and like a flash of lightning

comes upon the timorous quarry, which now, in agony and despair, seeks by various manæuvres to elude the grasp of his cruel talons : it mounts, doubles, and willingly would plunge into the stream, were it not prevented by the Eagle, which, long possessed of the knowledge that by such a stratagem the swan might escape him, forces it to remain in the air, by attempting to strike it with his talons from beneath. The hope of escape is soon given up by the swan. It has already become much weakened, and its strength fails at the sight of the courage and swiftness of its antagonist. Its last gasp is about to escape, when the ferocious Eagle strikes with his talons the under side of its wing, and with unresisted power forces the bird to fall in a slanting direction upon the nearest shore. It is then, reader, that you may see the cruel spirit of this dreaded enemy of the feathered race, whilst, exulting over his prey, he for the first time breathes at ease. He

presses down his powerful feet, and drives his sharp claws deeper than ever into the heart of the dying swan. He shrieks with delight as he feels the last convulsions of his prey, which has now sunk under his unceasing efforts to render death as painfully felt as it can possibly be. The female has watched every movement of her mate, and if she did not assist him in capturing the swan, it was not from want of will, but merely because she felt full assurance that the power and courage of her lord were quite sufficient for the deed. She now sails to the spot, where he eagerly awaits her, and when she has arrived, they together turn the breast of the luckless swan upwards, and gorge themselves with gore.”

Fish, as we have said, forms no inconsiderable part of the diet of the White-headed Eagle; not that he often procures it by his own honest exertions, though occasionally he manages to obtain a few in shallow creeks, but he lives by the “law of might,” availing himself of the labours of others, and especially of the osprey, or fishhawk, an assiduous and patient fisher. Wilson describes this act of marauding violence with a master's hand: “ Elevated on the high dead limb of some gigantic tree, that commands a wide view of the neighbouring shore and ocean, he seems calmly to contemplate the motions of the various feathered tribes that pursue their busy avocations below; the snow-white gulls slowly winnowing the air ; the busy tringæ coursing along the sands; trains of ducks streaming over the surface; silent and watchful cranes intent and wading ; clamorous crows, and all the winged multitudes that subsist by the bounty of this vast liquid magazine of nature. High over all these hovers one whose action instantly arrests his attention. By his wide curvature of wing, and sudden suspension in the air, he knows him to be the fish-hawk, settling over some devoted victim of the deep. His eye kindles at the sight, and balancing himself with half opened wings on the branch, he watches the result. Down, rapid as an arrow from heaven, descends the distant object of his attention, the roar of its wings reaching the ear, as it disappears in the deep, making the surges foam around! At this moment the eager looks of the Eagle are all ardour; and, levelling his neck for flight, he sees the fish-hawk once more emerge, struggling with his prey, and mounting in the air with screams of exultation. These are the signal for our hero, who, launching into the air, instantly gives chase, and soon gains on the fish-hawk; each exerts his utmost to mount above the other, displaying in these rencontres the most elegant and sublime aerial evolutions. The unincumbered Eagle rapidly advances, and is just on the point of reaching his opponent, when, with a sudden scream, probably of despair and honest execration, the latter drops his fish; the Eagle, poising himself for a moment, as if to take more certain aim, descends like a whirlwind, snatches it in his grasp. ere it reaches the water, and bears his ill-gotten booty silently away to the woods.”

The White-headed Eagle does not frequent bold rocky scenery, but prefers low lands along the coast or mouths of rivers, and builds invariably on the top of a tall tree, the nest being very large, and composed of sticks, weeds, moss, and similar materials. The parents are fierce in the defence of their young; these are generally three in number, and become fully fledged before they leave the nest, and after leaving it are fed assiduously by the

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