Several days of drenching rain made this bald eagle in Alaska's Aleutian Islands more bedraggled than majestic. Photographer Klaus Nigge captured the image for this month's issue of National Geographic. (Learn how Nigge got these images of bald eagles.)
The iconic bird has been the symbol of the United States for more than 200 years. Although decimated by hunters and the use of pesticides in the 20th century, the species has recovered thanks to federal protection and conservation programs. Eight years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed these resilient birds from the endangered species list.
In honor of Bald Eagle Appreciation Day, our editors have compiled their favorite pictures from our archives.
—By Becky Little, photo gallery by Mallory Benedict