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When was the bald eagle adopted as the national bird of the United States?

The iconic bald eagle steals the spot as the United States' national bird.

©Jupiter Images, 2009
The "American" eagle is a symbol of power and authority.

On June 20, 1782, the citizens of the newly independent United States of America adopted the bald or "American" eagle as their national emblem.

At first the heraldic artists depicted a bird that could have been a member of any of the larger species, but by 1902, the bird portrayed on the seal of the United States of America had assumed its proper white plumage on head and tail.

The choice of the bald eagle was not unanimous; Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) preferred the wild turkey.

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