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Minnesota legislators push to make bald eagle the national bird

The U.S. doesn't have a national bird. Lawmakers want to change that.
The U.S. doesn't have a national bird. Lawmakers want to change that. 01:50

WABASHA, Minn. — Minnesota's members of the House and Senate in D.C. are making a bipartisan push to honor an important piece of local wildlife: The bald eagle.

They want to make the bald eagle the official bird of the United States.

For all the national treasures we have, a national bird has never been designated — despite the common misconception.

"It goes back to the fact that it was chosen as the national symbol back in 1782," said Ed Hahn with the National Raptor Center in Wabasha,

Having helped repopulate the once-endangered species, they're now organizing the push in Congress to officially designate the bald eagle as America's bird.

"We came very close to losing our national symbol forever," Hahn said. "This was one of the last places in the continental United States where you could reliably come in the winter months and see a bald eagle. And that was a period of time where it was a big deal to see a bald eagle."

Nowadays, you only need to walk through the Linden Hills neighborhood to see a bald eagle nest occupying prime real estate next to Bde Maka Ska.

"It's quite amazing. We've seen some up close in the Raptor Center and such, but in the wild, to see them in their own habitat is really special," Kevin Mahoney, a Minneapolis resident, said.

Minnesotans agree — the eagles that call our state home should represent the entire country.

"I can't think of a good reason why it should be any other bird," said Minneapolis resident Kimmie Kemberling.

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