Which Bird is More Symbolic of Thanksgiving: The Bald Eagle or the Turkey?

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. But what about the birds? Which bird is more symbolic of Thanksgiving: the bald eagle or the turkey?

bald eagle and turkey side by side photo
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Both birds have a strong connection to the holiday. Bald eagles are often seen as symbols of strength, freedom, and patriotism, while turkeys are more closely associated with the Thanksgiving feast.

But which bird is more symbolic of the true meaning of Thanksgiving?

Bald eagles

Bald eagles are native to North America and have been a symbol of the United States since the early days of the republic. They are often seen as symbols of strength, freedom, and patriotism.

Bald eagles are also associated with Thanksgiving because they were once a popular food source for Native Americans. The first Thanksgiving feast is said to have included bald eagle meat.

However, bald eagles became increasingly rare in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to habitat loss and hunting. In 1967, bald eagles were placed on the endangered species list.

Today, bald eagles have returned and are no longer considered endangered. However, they are still protected by the law and cannot be hunted or killed.


Turkeys are also native to North America and were domesticated by Native Americans thousands of years ago. Turkeys were first introduced to Europe by European settlers in the 16th century.

Turkeys quickly became a popular food source in Europe, and they were brought to the Americas by Pilgrims in the early 17th century. Turkeys were served at the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621, and they have been a traditional Thanksgiving food ever since.

Today, turkeys are among the most popular meats in the United States. They are consumed by millions of people each Thanksgiving holiday.

Which bird is more symbolic of Thanksgiving?

So, which bird is more symbolic of Thanksgiving: the bald eagle or the turkey?

It is a difficult question to answer. Both birds have a solid connection to the holiday.

On the one hand, bald eagles are often seen as symbols of strength, freedom, and patriotism. These are all values that are important to Americans during the Thanksgiving holiday.

On the other hand, turkeys are more closely associated with the Thanksgiving feast. They have been a traditional Thanksgiving food for centuries.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide which bird symbolizes Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the many blessings in our lives. Both the bald eagle and the turkey are symbols of America’s rich history and culture.

Whichever bird you choose to celebrate with this Thanksgiving, take a moment to appreciate the many things we are grateful for.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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