Celebrate American Eagle Day With Brookfield Zoo


This Saturday, June 20th is a very special day for two feathered residents of Brookfield Zoo. The date marks American Eagle Day, a celebration of the bald eagle and its place as an iconic symbol to the United States of America.

The bald eagle officially became a part of American History in 1782. That year, the first Great Seal of the United States was approved by Congress, depicting the majestic eagle front and center. Since then, the bald eagle has become a staple of Americana, alongside the Stars and Stripes of the flag or the Star-Spangled Banner. American Eagle Day acts as a day of remembrance of this pivotal happening, while also taking time to shed light upon the importance of protecting these wonderful animals.

Brookfield Zoo is the home of two of these magnificent eagles. Charlie and Zeus are two male bald eagles that can be seen on exhibit in the Great Bear Wilderness. Both of these birds were born in the wild. However, they were both found with wing injuries that prevented them from returning to the wild. Fortunately, Brookfield Zoo was able to house both of these birds, getting Charlie in 2010 and Zeus in 2011, and the pair have been comfortable roommates ever since.

It’s important to remember on this American Eagle Day that we have a lot to celebrate with the bald eagle’s conversation story. Just sixty years ago, the bald eagle was in very real danger of not being seen in the mainland U.S. A variety of factors, including hunting, destruction of habitat, and the releasing of harmful chemical DDT brought the numbers of bald eagles in the lower 48 states in the early 1960s to less than 500.

Fortunately, a push to help our American symbol brought forth many positive changes in legislature, such as the banning of the chemical DDT, along with other guidelines to protect the bald eagle as a species. The species as a whole rebounded dramatically, to the point where tens of thousands of pairs estimated in the lower 48 states alone today.


The bald eagle’s success story is one that inspires hope for many species struggling today due to human interference, so it’s safe to say there’s much to celebrate this American Eagle Day. Brookfield Zoo works to support such conservation efforts regularly. A great way to celebrate American Eagle Day from home, as well as supporting Brookfield Zoo’s continued efforts, is to adopt one of our animals. Many animals, including Zeus the bald eagle, are available for you to ‘share the care’ and support their feeding and maintenance.

Written by Alex Kirkeeng, Assistant Keeper - Bird Department, Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo

Don't miss the next blog post from Chicago Zoological Society. Sign up for the Brookfield Zoo email newsletter and receive regular updates and special offers direct to your inbox.

Posted: 6/18/2020 8:32:22 AM by Sean Keeley

CZS & Brookfield Zoo

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Chicago Zoological Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Learn more about the animals, people, and research that make up CZS here at our blog.


Subscribe to our Blogs!