The American Eagle
The American Eagle

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Nobility. Freedom. Strength. These are the ideals embodied in the bald eagle, the symbol of our nation. Back from the brink of extinction, the American eagle is once again soaring over our skies, fishing in our oceans and rivers, and nesting in our forests. The American Eagle is a stunning collection of photographs of bald eagles in the wild by photographer John Pezzenti, Jr., author of Alaska: A Photographic Journey Through the Last Wilderness.

John Pezzenti has spent more than twenty years documenting the bald eagle, the only eagle unique to North America.  When he began his quest to photograph eagles in their natural habitats across the country, the challenge was clear: there were very few bald eagles left in the wild. The effects of habitat destruction and the pesticide DDT had severely crippled America's bald eagle population and had made the bird an endangered species. Undeterred, Pezzenti strove to find and study eagles in the most remote areas of the country.

In his text Pezzenti discusses the remarkable comeback of the American eagle. For example, he describes how the eagle team from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife raises eaglets in captivity and then places them into nests, hoping that the parent eagles will adopt and raise them as their own.  He also recounts his many harrowing experiences while photographing in the wilderness.

These photographs capture the magnificent bird as never before.  They detail the complete life span of the bald eagle, from newly hatched eaglet resting after the labors of breaking its shell to young eagle learning to fly to mature eagle calling to its mate. The images are dramatic and varied -- a group of eagles perched high in the bare branches of a cottonwood tree; an eagle with wings spread wide to catch the warming rays of the sun; two young eagles attempting to knock each other from the sky in a furious battle; an eagle making a smooth dip into the ocean to grab a salmon.

Since the early days of America the bald eagle has supremely embodied the bold spirit and soaring beauty of our country. The American Eagle is a powerful tribute to this noble bird.