Did anyone on the list watch the Daytona 500? During the pre-race ceremonies, they had two eagles fly over the crowd during the national anthem. They were clearly captive birds as they returned to their handlers when the song was over. It was a beautiful sight as those large birds soared over the crowd with their beautiful white heads and white tails. Then my husband asked "Aren't those fishing eagles?" I looked more closely and saw what he did; the white extended down to the chest in the front and down between the wings. Both birds were clearly African Fishing Eagles, not Bald Eagles! A poll of my husbands racing buddies revealed that none of them knew the difference.
The announcer was careful to thank Busch Gardens for the eagles (he didn't say Bald Eagles).
They were gorgeous creatures. I assume it would be difficult or illegal to have captive Bald Eagles that could still fly (unless they had some other condition) so they went with the next best thing.
Deborah K. Beutler, Ph.D.
Department of Biology