Description of The Bald Eagle
This Bird weighs nine pounds: the Iris of the eye white; over which is a prominence, cover'd with a yellow skin; the Bill yellow, with the Sear of the same colour: The Legs and Feet are yellow; the Tallons black, the Head and part of the Neck is white, as is the Tail; all the rest of the Body, and Wings are brown.
Tho' it is an Eagle of a small size, yet has great strength and spirit, preying on Pigs, Lambs, and Fawns.
They always make their nests near the sea, or great rivers, and usually on old, dead Pine or Cypress-trees, continuing to build annually on the same tree, till it falls. Tho' he is so formidable to all birds, yet he suffers them to breed near his royal nest without molestation; particularly the fishing and other Hawks, Herons & c. which all make their nests on high trees; and in some places are so near one another, that they appear like a Rookery. This Bird is called the Bald Eagle, both in Virginia and Carolina, tho' his head is as much feather'd as the other parts of his body.
Both Cock and Hen have white Heads, and their other parts differ very little from one another.
Please note that Catesby drew the profile of the eagle's head on the plate and it is the actual size.