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A M,.ql. MO A*. mi A—-A*. —.—.. —A, —**‘ *“*"—’’ —*' 9 ■#>4* -/. !■ i^Sk' r ', .u .^T^jnA 3rS^- <' ■*■-, -. ■» KFar' j • / (iS3BjSES A living symbol of the Nation, this here* bold eagle spreads his wings to take flight. . *L HMHr flr - t^hMi.jH^^bgS Bn Eagle-watchers W. A. Rothery. Nancy Brad field and Mrs. Herbert Church odmire a bird. 1 am 8 Eagles on the Potomac By JIM BIRCHFIELD Star Staff Writer r* MAY BE that the bald eagle, symbol of the United States, Is becoming as rare as the dodo, and that in a few years the only eagles will be those decorating this country’s seal and its money. But for now, at least, you can find eagles in flocks if you go to the right spot down the Potomac River. You will have to be there at the right time, and at the right season. But chances are you’ll see more bald eagles than you’ve ever seen in your life. They sail in at dusk, and they pass right over your head. They nest In the trees that surround Big Marsh at Hallowing Point, and they don’t seem to mind visitors. W. A. Rothery, who has a summer cot tage on the Potomac near Big Marsh, has been watching the eagles for years. Mr. Rothery says he usually counts up to 25 birds ’most any evening, and there was one time when he sighted 33. For several years, now, ornithologists have been worried about an apparent de crease in the bald eagle population. In Flor ida, where many eagles once nested, a de crease in the number of birds hatched has been noted. Surveys along the East Coast, Including the Chesapeake Bay region, also have indi cated a decrease in eagle hatches. It has been suggested by ornithologists, although there is no proof, that wholesale spraying with DDT for mosquito control has caused sterility in the eagles. This is because the DDT is passed on to the eagles through their food supply, which is mostly fish, and dead ones at that, and the effects have been cumulative. The bald eagle, although our mightiest bird of prey, has not been admired by all people. Benjamin Franklin, for example, opposed the selection of the bold eagle as the representative bird of the United States. “For my part,” Franklin wrote, “I wish „ STAR PHOTOS BY ELWCR)D BAKER SUNDAY. THE BTAR MAGAZINE. WASHINGTON. D. C . SEPTEMBER 27. 1»5B the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly; you may have seen him perched in some dead tree, where, too laxy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk; and, when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bear ing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and takes It from him. “With all this injustice, he is never in good case; but, like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is gen erally poor, and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the little king-bird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly, and drives him out of his district.” While others have written glowingly of the majestic flight of the eagle, Franklin has been proved a keen observer by recent studies. Ornithologists say the bald eagle lives mostly on fish, and he doesn’t care whether It’s fish he killed or not. He seems to relish his fish just as much if it is a few days old. And this habit of eating dead fish that have been washed up on the shore lends strength to the theory that DDT may have some thing to do with reduced eagle families. Studies of other birds seem to point to dls asterous results Isom DDT sprays. But, no matter what you say about the bald eagle’s habits, he is a magnificent bird in flight. The white head and white tail of the adult eagle show up as he soars over head, and you can even spot the juveniles from the way they fly, even though they haven’t yet achieved the distinctive white headdress So, if you would like to watch the eagles in flight some day, go down the Po tomac to Hallowing Point, walk a mile through the woods ‘to the edge of the marsh, and your trip will be well rewarded.