Outdoors blog

Founding fathers had pecking order for national symbol

Wild turkey gobbler during breeding season. (Associated Press)
Wild turkey gobbler during breeding season. (Associated Press)

WILDLIFE -- "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 lazy 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 bearing it to his nest for his young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes the fish. With all this injustice, he is never in good case."
 

—Benjamin Franklin in 1782, explaining why he wished "the (bald) eagle had not been chosen as the representative of this country." Franklin had proposed the wild turkey for the national symbol.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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