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The Amazingly Odd Things Americans Do

The U.S. as a nation literally represents a melting pot of cultures, behaviors, norms, beliefs and people. As a result, it is quite possible to travel a couple hundred miles or even just a few city blocks and be surrounded by an entirely different aspect of life, people and practices. However, there are still quirks and behaviorisms that, despite centuries of immigration into the country, make Americans extremely unique compared to the rest of the world. And those are not automatically led by the automatic zeal of democratic freedom and similar grand statements either. In fact, many are very mundane but stand out immediately when seen in other countries as Americans travel. Here are 30 unique habits, behaviors, norms or ideas we take for granted, but raise eyebrows elsewhere:

Using “How Are You?” as a Greeting

When people greet each other around the world the basic communication starts of with some form of a hello. However, Americans have an odd, interesting norm that is learned from a young age that it is entirely okay and allowable as a formal greeting to ask someone how they are without meaning it. We say all the time, “How are You?” as a polite form of hello with no expectation whatsoever to get an answer much less even hear specific information. The greeting began decades ago, and it actually was answered with a “Fine, how are you?” as a response. However, in recent times that has entirely dropped and it’s now just an empty question that puzzles the heck of out everyone not from the U.S.

Avoiding Vacation

Germany and France, for example, practically have a season of mandatory vacation six to eight weeks out of the year. They plan for it, have regular locations far away from home and on the coast or camping, and get detached from the hectic life at least more than a month every year. In the U.S., we are workaholics in comparison. It’s considered even abnormal to take a full two or three weeks of time off and could hamper a career in some corners.

Daring to Smile at a Stranger

We generally think its perfectly normal and friendly to smile at strangers to come across as non-threatening and disarming. This welcomes engagement and at least a nod or smile back. In other countries such a direct connection might actually scare people to turn and walk away, or be seen as suspicious and avoided.

Commercialization of Lawyers

U.S. lawyers market as hard as any business in the American market, which is absolutely a no-no in other countries and cultures. Instead, they build a profession by reference and networking. Here, we have them on commercials as common as car sales.

Super-Sizing Everything

Americans are big on extra helpings, especially with fast food. So extra-size drinks, double size orders and additional add-ons make us feel like we are getting solid value for what we receive. Elsewhere in the world is considered rude and selfish to go back for seconds or expect large sizes and drink refills, even if one paid for the value. Much of this has to do with a different aspect growing up in many cultures that did not have the large grocery stores, fast food venues and massive consumerism so normal in the U.S.

Daring to Drink from Cheap Red Throwaway Cups

Young people with plastic cups at party

It’s actually a rare thing to drink from a cheap, throwaway plastic cup when people are out on a picnic, hosting friends over in the backyard or meeting up for casual get togethers. However, in the U.S. the red plastic cup is ubiquitous with BBQs, picnics, beaches and more.

Using Bland Currency

Take a close look a currency around the world and one will realize it’s pretty darn colorful. American dollars, on the other hand, are monochromatic, uncreative and downright boring. It doesn’t mean they are worthless. In fact, U.S. dollars are still one of the strongest currencies worldwide. We just can’t come up with a vibrant currency, even with our newest version of dollar bills.

What in the World are Cheerleaders?

We know what cheerleaders are in the U.S., but they really do represent an odd sideline behavior not seen in other countries. Some would never allow it due to cultural or religious restrictions, but others see cheerleading as having nothing to do with a sport and wouldn’t think of trying to either. Americans, however, see cheerleading as normal as apple pie.

Our Coins Don’t Make Sense

Most coinage around the world focuses on a number value. 10 Euros, 1 Yen, 5 Rubles, etc. Our coins use odd names that, aside from the quarter, don’t really tie to their monetary value. It puzzles the heck out of folks who struggle the first few days trying to remember what each name means. Why is a dime smaller but more than a nickel? Why is a penny brown? Why is a half-dollar almost the size of a regular dollar coin, and why are their two or three different dollar coins? American money is, no surprise very confusing outside of the U.S.

Living with A/C

The world is full of a lot of hot places. Even more challenging, a lot of places are humid and hot. Americans, however, have conquered zones where the summer gets up to 140 degrees with the amazing but mundane creation of the air conditioner. We’re odd birds in this respects. In most place around the world people learn to live with the heat. Americans bring their environment with them instead.

Verifying One’s Drinking Age

We make a big deal in the U.S. about making sure a person is 21 and older before buying alcohol. Elsewhere in the world, folks can start drinking at age 16, and most places don’t bother asking for ID. If a person has enough backbone to come up to the pub or bar and ask for beer or similar with the money, they are served. Part of our age-related focus steps from our Euro-Christian background and fixation on liquor, but part of it is also a compromise between allowing drinking and many elements in the U.S. who would like to go back to Prohibition.

Our Darn Coffee-to-Go Fixation

This probably goes in line with not taking vacation much, but we just can’t sit still and relax much, and that includes how we drink our coffee. Taking coffee on the go is very much a norm in the U.S., but in Europe, for example, one drinks coffee at home, at the office or in a café. Folks definitely don’t walk around with coffee in a paper cup very much.

We Don’t Shut Down at Night

In big cities around the world there are sections and areas that do stay open late into the night, usually for bars and entertainment. However, you can go to just about every town and neighborhood in the U.S. in 2020 and you’re bound to find an all-night fast food joint or gas station open. And we treat Sunday as a regular business day. Other countries actually outlaw being open after hours except around the airports.

Our Restaurant Drive-Throughs

The U.S. is physically a very big country, and from the beginning of the 20th century it became married with the automobile. Entire cities have been planned, built, changed and rebuilt based on vehicle traffic versus any other form of transport. No surprise, we like to eat in our cars too, and that created drive-throughs, a unique American invention. One will be hard-pressed to find a drive-through elsewhere in the world, although some countries with new city expansions are experimenting with the idea.

Really, Really Big Grocery Stores

The U.S. was famous for decades with its grocery stores, symbols of American consumerism. Then we invented big box stores. Now we have big boxes for food, for hardware, for clothing, furniture and even stores for just jackets and coats. The idea is so catching, big box stores have been showing up in Europe as well as China. No surprise, now we have super-store complexes that are even bigger.

Being Overt With Our Flags

After World War II many countries purposefully avoided strong displays of flags and flag banners on a regular basis. They were seen at parades and on special holidays, but general posting of a country’s flag was seen as a sign of extreme nationalism in many countries and avoided for decades. The U.S., on the other hand, treats it as normal and even very patriotic to fly our flag every day of the week and year, regardless of the reason.

Our Habit of Eating Big

Our eating sizes are no surprise. In addition to expecting large sizes, we eat a lot of food on average too. The amount of food the average American eats is twice the food eaten in most of the world. We also have a heavy diet of processed food and protein. Most other parts of the world focus on grains and vegetables and fruit. No surprise, we produce bigger people on average, but we also have more health problems that are diet-related. Many outside America wonder why we eat the way we do as a result.

We Expect Servers to Hover

Go to a restaurant in other countries and you’re lucky if you see the waiter twice. Our waiters in the U.S., even in basic diners, are checking on patrons and how we’re doing at least five times in a sit-down if not more.

Our Pharmacies are Big Too

Going to get medicine outside of the U.S. often involves finding a universal sign of a pharmacy, usually a pestle and mortar. Once inside, the office is about the size of a small room, maybe even a small closet. So pharmacies in the U.S. are a shock. Either they are mini-malls of their own with just about every general store item in them or they are included in a giant grocery store. Either way, it’s easy for a foreign person to get lost looking for a pharmacy here.

Water is Taken for Granted

We are surprised eating out if we don’t receive our complimentary glass of water both when we sit down as well refills during the meal and at the end, if not a cup of coffee to boot. Water isn’t so plentiful elsewhere, so it surprises visitors why we insist on keeping them hydrated to the point of running to the restroom.

We Love Our Ice

Along with water and our cold drinks, ice is also an expected norm in the U.S. One of the oddest things people experience then traveling to Europe, for example, is asking for a drink and being served a soda with no ice at all. Ice, however, isn’t a universal add-on to a drink, and many restaurants worldwide don’t even have an ice-maker to provide it.

We Value Tipping and Honor It

While hotels around the world expect tipping from customers as a norm, it is not necessarily a standard as much as it is in the U.S. We often hold to a standard of 15 percent for good service and more for large groups. But this is not common internationally. In fact, some places do not allow tipping at all, building it already in the price of service.

We Have Amazing Trust in our Credit Card System

We treat our credit cards like cash, handing it to anyone we need to as payment without a clue what they do with it when we aren’t looking. Foreigners are extremely protective and possessive of their cards in comparison. Where fraud, unfortunately, is common in the U.S., and a replacement card can be had in days, it’s a much harder process in other countries, similar to how cardholders were treated in the 1970s in the U.S.

We Have So Many Darn Choices

Whether it’s clothing, food, TVs, computers, artwork, music, furniture and more, we are buried with choices. Gone are the days of 1950s marketing where you can have any color you want as long as it is white or black. This isn’t the case elsewhere. Many cultures and countries focus on providing on one choice, or a few at most, the better ones with quality versus and array of so-so.

Commercialization of Drugs

Our drugmakers get to have commercials and heavy marketing in the U.S. too. Ulcer medicine is a great example, along with heartburn and anti-depression. In Asia and Europe, however, drugmakers aren’t visual to the public, and prescriptions don’t come with heavy branding.

Our Classy Pajama-Wearing in Public

Yes, that’s a joke. As the U.S., we might be the only culture in the world daring enough or silly enough to wear our pajamas out in public like regular clothes, including fuzzy slippers. While this primarily a teen or college age thing to do, it’s extremely rare worldwide. They look at Americans and shake their heads.

We Have Really Big Roads

Given the size of American cars, it’s not a surprise our roads are big too. Five-lane highways and similar are not uncommon all over the U.S. How we manage to still have traffic-jams is another mystery, but to folks from other countries our roads are huge compared to what they typically drive on.

What’s With Our Bathroom Stalls?

Go to a public restroom in another country that is developed and you will notice that the stalls and stall doors provide a solid privacy. Our bathrooms, regardless of gender have stalls with enough gaps between the walls and doors that one can see inside. Whether its an intentional design to allow spotting problems or plain weirdness, our bathrooms have less privacy by function, period.

Our Wine Bottles Are Weird

We have 3-liter bottles for American wine which is very much an oddity anywhere else. It’s not that our wine is bad. In fact, we have a large number of award-winning wine brands. We just like bigger bottles, which is unheard of elsewhere.

Our Love Affair with Frying

Every county fair that comes up, we have a wonderful trend of frying all sorts of foods. Twinkies, pickles, fruit, and all sorts of meats, we fry it. Some experiments shouldn’t happen, period, but Americans have a wide menu of fried food we love to eat and eat a lot. While frying food is not unique, and can be quite common in some parts of the world like Asia, we have perfected fried food to an art.

As noted at the beginning, even with all our melting pot consolidation, as Americans we have some quirks rarely found anywhere else in the world. And that makes American culture stand out on its own, even when made up of a constant mix of people from everywhere else over generations.


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Culture

Newly Discovered Flower Blooms Atop One of the World’s RAREST Trees

Renee Yates

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The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is known by locals for the intense work performed by the experts inside. When a small purple-and-white flower began to grow within their greenhouse, the team of experts at the Missouri Botanical Garden were confused. From their perspective, they were seeing something brand new – a completely fresh discovery.

Discovery on May 3rd

Justin Lee is a senior horticulturist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and he was performing regular work on a Karomia Gigas sapling in the greenhouse when he first stumbled upon the rare purple-and-white flower. The Karomia Gigas is a tree from Africa with close relations to the mint plant. An endangered tree species in Africa, Justin was confused by the flower that had grown nearly an inch in length atop the tree.

Lee says of his discovery, “It’s a bit odd for a mint flower. It seems flipped inside out.”

The flower measured an inch in length with a strong halo of purple petals, sloping gently downward toward white stamens bearing pollen. According to Lee, the mint family likes to put out tube-styled flowers in an attempt to attract bees, butterflies, and moths. Lee also suggests that the tree can self-pollinate if necessary.

As the discovery made headlines around the city, the researchers at Missouri’s Botanical Garden are preparing for more blooms in the future. Research has suggested that more Karomia Gigas flowers will grow at the greenhouse and it is then that their scientific research will really begin. Lee and his team are focused on successfully cultivating cross-pollination, thus improving the survivability of the plant in the world. At the time of this writing, only about two dozen of the Karomia Gigas trees can be found in the wilds throughout Tanzania.

The Wilds of Tanzania

At the time of this writing, the Karomia Gigas is considered so rare as to not even have a local Tanzanian nickname, nor is there an English one. What little is broadly known about the Karomia is that it can grow in straight stretches for up to 80 feet, limiting branch exposure until nearly halfway to its final height. As a result of its odd, stick-like growth, finding these unseen flower blooms has been harder than you might anticipate!

Roy Gereau is a program director for Tanzania at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Surprised but not shocked by the flower, Gereau was quick to admit that the bloom was new. Gereau said of the rare flower, “There certainly is no record of the flowers in scientific literature.”

More important than discovering the flower, researchers in Missouri believe that they can maintain the health of the newly bloomed petals to prevent them from disappearing. Andrew Wyatt is the VP of Horticulture at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and he said, “We can make sure the species doesn’t go extinct.”

It has been a challenge to grow the plant in Missouri, as has been repeated by researchers at the facility. Seeds had been collected in 2018 from a series of Tanzanian field expeditions. These seeds were shipped to St. Louis where only around 100 were thought to be viable. To make things even more difficult, it was a task to match Tanzanian growing conditions within greenhouses in Missouri.

Despite the challenges that they had to face, it looks like the Karomia is finding solid footing within St. Louis. With some momentum and optimism on their side, what’s next?

Andrew Wyatt said of the rare blooming flower and of his own future, “We were debating whether it would even flower in our careers.”

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Quirky New Zealand Bird Begins Recovery From Brink of Extinction

Renee Yates

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With bright lime green plumage, striking eyes, and a massive build, the New Zealand Kakapo is considered the largest ground-dwelling parrot on the planet Earth. If that description doesn’t get you at least a little bit excited about the kakapo, nothing will!

Endemic to New Zealand, the Kakapo has been considered endangered and on the brink of extinction since the late 1890s. Beginning with the Kakapo Recovery Programme of 1995, modern conservationists would begin to note more significant strides in their efforts.

Before delving into the rehabilitation of the quirky kakapo, let’s take a moment to learn a little more about these fantastic creatures.

How Quirky IS The Kakapo

A cursory glance at New Zealand’s favorite flightless parrot would reveal an animal made at odds with itself. Massive yet flightless, brightly colored yet nocturnal, the kakapo has enjoyed an almost legendary status within New Zealand’s borders and, more specifically, Maori culture. Revered as a source of meat and for its beautiful plumage, the kakapo has a rich history with the local people.

As the only living species of parrot that can’t fly, the kakapo instead relies on its strong legs to travel miles a day. Excellent as climbers, kakapo will use their forest-themed feathers to remain camouflaged while hunting, hiding, or sleeping.

Andrew Digby has been working closely with the Kakapo population through his work as a conservation biologist for the Department of Conservation. Digby has grown to appreciate the definitive personalities and unique lifestyles that the kakapo lead. Digby says, “They’re more like mammals… maybe like badgers.”

As a conservationist for one of New Zealand’s most revered institutes, Digby has gotten to spend plenty of time with the local kakapo population. He says of his efforts that their personalities become more defined the longer you work with them. Digby says, “Some may shout at you a lot. Some are really friendly and will approach you.”

An Endangered Species

The kakapo began its precipitous descent toward extinction in the fourteenth century, coinciding with the arrival of the Maori people. As we’ve touched upon above, the Maori people see the kakapo as not just culturally important, but also as a form of resource. Their feathers, meat, and even companionship were all revered by the Maori people.

Unfortunately, an affinity for the kakapo would also lead to its decline toward extinction. As the Maori settled into the region, building homes and wiping land for farms, kakapo would begin to experience habitat reduction. This reduction in habitat was further exacerbated by the arrival of rats from the very same ships that the Maori had arrived upon. Rats would quickly become a primary predator to the kakapo, devouring not just eggs but chicks as well.

By the time that Europeans would land ashore of New Zealand in the 19th Century, the Kakapo had already been verging on extinction throughout the islands. This didn’t stop European settlers from trapping, killing, collecting, and selling kakapo to willing buyers. By the time that 1995 rolled around, only 51 birds were left in known existence.

The 1995 Kakapo Recovery Programme has been working steadily since its introduction, collecting and protecting the remaining living kakapo in off-shore environments. Visitors to the Kakapo Recovery Programme must undergo an extensive quarantining process after having all of their food and luggage carefully inspected. Every bird on the island is tagged and named so that the conservationists can closely follow breeding sites throughout the region. New eggs are often moved to artificial environments where they are incubated before being returned to the nest. While the real egg is away, the kakapo mother will be left with a ‘smart egg’ that mimics egg behavior.

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Retired Bike Program Finds New Life in Charlotte as Travel Service For Homeless

Kelly Taylor

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As the weather warms up and COVID-19 continues to become a thing of the past, the world will try and shift to normalcy again. For residents of Charlotte, NC, a return to normalcy will have to occur without the help of Charlotte B-Cycles, the rental blue bike-share service that has been providing rides to the city for years. Phased out for an impressive electric-assisted fleet, the city of Charlotte had to decide what to do with the 250+ retired bicycles from its old fleet and this is where our story begins.

Let’s explore how the city of Charlotte decided to recycle old bikes to bring new life to the city for those who need help the most.

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle: Old Fleets Find New Life

Charlotte’s B-Cycles may have been taken away to be replaced with an electric-focused fleet called Charlotte Joy Rides, but that doesn’t mean that their days of use are over. In fact, the old retired bikes now belong to a pair of volunteer teams from Roof in the Inn and Trips for Kids, two local non-profits dedicated to providing assistance to homeless residents.

Taking the old bikes, the volunteer groups from Room in the Inn and Trips for Kids would acquire the bikes with the intention of repurposing them. Dick Winters, a cycling enthusiast and volunteer at the program, pointed out that transportation is a rather significant barrier to individuals dealing with homelessness. Winters also argues that a lack of available and affordable transportation can fundamentally damage acquiring employment and, fundamentally, independence from poverty. This mindset has been echoed tirelessly by Cedric Mack, supervisor of the Roof Above shelter on Statesville Avenue.

The goal of this joint initiative is to bring transportation to the people who need it the most, giving them the metaphorical keys to their traveling needs. The job has been undertaken by a tireless team of excited volunteers to help those who are most at-risk. Mack says that some of the homeless individuals he works with end up at the bus stop by “4 AM” just to get a ride for errands or to apply for jobs.

Charlotte, Charity, and the Houseless Crisis

So far, volunteers for the program have effectively refurbished 27 bikes. These 27 bikes have already been dispatched to users from the Roof Above program as well as shelters around the area. A pair of bikes would go to a recently homeless family while other bikes have gone to individuals to assist in their independence and traveling efforts. This is a marked difference from the last round of old bikes that ended up sold for scrap, thrown into landfills, or stuck into art installations.

Jonathan Wells has been one of the active pair of hands working on repairing the bikes. Wells was brought to the non-profit after hearing about it through his church. Wells points out that the repair efforts are helping people to attain a “greater degree” of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Wells went on to say that it would be “Mission Accomplished” if his work helps someone to get a job, get back on their feet, and find a place to live.

At the time of this writing, a 2021 study published by WSOCTV revealed that roughly 3,000 homeless individuals live in the Charlotte, NC area.

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Rehabilitation Facility Ushers in ‘Healing Forest’, Planted by Indigenous Inmates

Kelly Taylor

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Found in the heart of Washington State is the Yakama Nation Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility, one of the first projects introduced through the DOJ’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This adult and juvenile facility is designed to do more than meet the needs of the region, it also has a unique way of addressing rehabilitation through outdoor projects — including the healing forest.

At the heart of this restorative project are the inmates who identify with and want to embrace their culture and identity. A member of the Yakama Nation, Marylee Smunitee Jones has also been a vocal leader for the healing forest campaign that has been gaining nationwide attention. Jones has worked alongside Ethan Bryson, forest maker and founder of Sugi, to get their ambitious project off of the ground. Jones said that the identity of Yakama Nation lay with the plants, “They show us that it’s okay to be unique.”

After successfully organizing the healing forest project, Bryson and his team would successfully enter the second phase of the plan. This would lead to more than 5,000 native trees successfully entering the ground, incorporating more than 36 species spanning medicinal and non-medicinal plants alike.

In order to find so much success getting plants in the ground, Sugi has followed the Miyawaki method for planting. This method originally took root in Japan where it focused on the diverse planting of species in a confined space. Elise Van Middelem is the founder of Sugi and also one of the leading voices in the company. Speaking on the Miyawaki method Elise would say that this method was “30 times denser, featured16 times more carbon, and was100 times more biodiverse”

Impact of the Healing Forest

While much of today’s discussion has been focused on the sheer volume of plants and the efficacy of the workflow, the effect that the healing forest has had supersedes even these boundaries. An anonymous inmate spoke about the project saying, “It feels great. It makes my heart feel really good.” Other inmates discussed how they would be able to show their kids the massive garden in the future when they finish their sentence.

Even though the impact of the healing forest has been immeasurable to the inmates, it also highlighted an important prospect to discuss on a global scale. According to a 2019 report published at Global Forest Watch, more than 12 million hectares of tropical forest were destroyed in that year alone. Developments surrounding green projects like the healing forest are going to become increasingly welcomed as environmentalism takes center stage on a global scale.

Another initiative operating out of 1t.org would get unveiled during the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos. The goal of the platform is to help the world plant an additional 1 trillion trees by the end of 2030.

Marylee Smunitee Jones says of the Healing Forest and its importance, “We all have our own medicines and that the healing forest is needed… it is needed very much.”

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Lowest 48 States See Proliferation in Bald Eagle Population

Renee Yates

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The bald eagle is a symbol of independence, courage, and strength in the United States. Who’d have guessed that a bird of such importance was on the brink of extinction just a few years ago?

Bald eagles have three or four times the vision of humans. They can fly up to 35 miles per hour and dive for prey at even higher speeds.

The bald eagle’s name comes from the Old English word balde, that demonstrates white; the eagle’s white head contrasts with its dark body, giving it the appearance of being bald. In the wild, the bald eagle survives for 20 to 30 years.

According to government scientists, the volume of American bald eagles has grown exponentially by about four times the 2009 number, now at a high of over 300,000 birds currently flying over forty-eight states.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced that bald eagles, a national icon that was once on the verge of extinction, have soared in recent years, with over 71,400 breeding pairs and an estimated 316,700 individual birds.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland praised the eagle’s comeback in her first public appearance since taking office recently, noting that the magnificent bird with its white head has been deemed as sacred to Native American tribes and the country as a whole for eons.

The strong recovery of this beloved bird allows everyone to recollect the country’s collective resilience, in addition to the value of being responsible guardians of the lands and waters that unite us, said Haaland, the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

In 1963, the number of documented breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states reached a record low of over four hundred.

The bald eagle population has continued to expand through decades of protection, including the banning of the pesticide DDT.

They have also been included on the list of endangered species in more than forty states. In 2007, the bald eagle was delisted as an at-risk or endangered species.

The bald eagle community is thriving, according to Haaland, who described the bird’s recovery as a “success story” that “testifies to the enduring value of the work of Interior Department researchers and conservationists.”

This work would not have been possible without numbers of individuals accumulating and evaluating many years of scientific data… precisely estimating the population of bald eagles in the United States.

The bald eagle’s birthday is also an excellent time to remember the Endangered Species Act, which is a critical tool in the fight to save America’s wildlife, according to Haaland. The landmark 1973 law is necessary to counter the extinction of species like the bald eagle and American bison, he says.

According to Haaland, her unit would investigate measures taken by the Trump regime to weaken core aspects of the threatened species law, reiterating a promise made by President Joe Biden.

She didn’t go into detail, but environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers have chastised the Trump administration for a number of decisions, including decreasing vital territory needed by the northern spotted owl and removing gray wolf safeguards.

The bald eagle is a raptor (bird of prey) that are located at the food chain’s helm. It captures prey by darting over broad landscape or water with its sharply curved talons. It also absorbs the dead animals’ bodies (carrion).

Eagles are carnivores (mmeat-eaters who hunt throughout the daytime (diurnal) from a high perch. Older eagles have a small range of hunters. Small bald eagles are preyed upon by owls. Fish, small rodents, snakes, as well as other birds are among their favorite foods.

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