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Mark Catesby (1682-1749)

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) c.1722-6

RCIN 924814

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The bald eagle is one of the most striking plates in the Natural History and Catesby placed it at the beginning of the first volume. It was rare for Catesby to introduce drama into his compositions, as he does here, where the eagle swoops to catch a fish dropped by an osprey above. In 1782 the bald eagle was chosen as the emblem of the United States of America.