Bad Moral Character?


This week’s photo, taken September 9, 2014 at Discovery Park in Seattle, WA, features an adult BALD EAGLE standing on one of its favorite perches, as it begins to tear into a large fish.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the most famous Founding Fathers of the United States, was upset when the Bald Eagle was selected as the national symbol. Franklin, who voted for the turkey (no kidding), said, “I wish the eagle had not been chosen as the representative of this country. He is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly.”

He’s referring to the fact that Bald Eagles often steal food from other birds or mammals, and even sometimes from people who are fishing. Maybe the eagle pictured above snatched the fish out of the Puget Sound with its huge talons; thus, obtaining its meal the old fashioned way, by earning it. Or perhaps it took its catch from a cormorant or an osprey. But, whether the eagle is a species of good or bad moral character, it’s enjoying a seafood breakfast now.

View Joe’s Best Bird Photos at:


About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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3 Responses to Bad Moral Character?

  1. Chris says:

    One of our most memorable birding sights was in Yellowstone NP, where we saw an adult Bald Eagle drop from the sky and take a fish from a stream about 40 feet from us. Wow!

  2. Lynda Kuebler says:

    Good information Joe, How are you?

  3. Brenda Peterson says:

    Jeez, such a huge bird! Extraordinary!

    Thank you for sending, Joe!


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