I spent six of the first eight years of my life in Buffalo, N.Y. Growing up there, the bald eagle had almost mythic significance to my young mind because it was a symbol in more ways than one. Not only did it represent our country; it was vanishingly rare. You never saw one except on television. It wasn’t like cardinals, for instance, which are the state bird of seven states precisely because they’re everywhere. The eagle’s very scarcity added to its mythology, as well as providing a potent lesson in environmentalism, conservation and the fragility and interconnectedness of life.
In the summer of 1976 — another interesting piece of symbolism, being the bicentennial year — my family moved to Wisconsin, far closer to eagle habitat.
(Continued at Midtopia)