Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the emblem of the United States. Before that, the bald eagle was a revered spiritual symbol of the Native Americans. At the time, bald eagles, named for their gleaming white-feathered heads, were once a rare sight.
Thanks to protective laws, the bald eagle population is now thriving. They were once endangered because of hunting, loss of habitat, and pesticides.
Today, you can spot bald eagles high in the sky, flying low or perched in treetops near lakes, reservoirs, rivers, marshes, and coasts.
The birds can often be spotted scavenging for a meal, fighting other birds for their meals, or eating garbage. It is rare, however, to see multiple bald eagles together at one time.
Except of course, if you’re at a wildlife refuge or in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest. The bald eagles love to congregate is Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which can always be crawling with bald eagles.
Dutch Harbor is a fishing village of about 4,700 people in the Aleutian Islands and is home to more than 500 eagles.
The Dutch Harbor bald eagles are famous for spending their time on the docks, picking through trash, and snatching grocery bags from humans.
They are known as “Dutch Harbor pigeons.”
“You think of them as these iconic models of what people like to think of America as, but it’s all about perception,” Corey Arnold, author of Aleutian Dreams said.
“Photographing them in these compromising situations, like in garbage cans—it’s ironic.”
Dutch Harbor is known to catch more fish than any other port town in the country, it attracts lots of eagles who like to help themselves to the fish.
“When humans provide some food, they’re subsidized predators,” Falk Huettman, associate professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said.
“We do it with overfishing, dumps, and farms. Once you have an industry, it gets these concentrations.”
Jessie Peck, a fisherman, captured on YouTube, the magnificence of a bald eagle posse. He throws some fish into the air and a group of about 10 them come swarming. Then the camera pans to reveal that there’s actually about 20 of them on the boat.
“Just another day in Alaska,” he writes in the video’s caption.
Watch this incredible sight in the video below.
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