The eagle played an important role in the culture of the Native Americans. The tail feathers were used to decorate the war bonnets of warriors. With some tribes such as the Sioux the number of feathers in a bonnet indicated the warrior's courage in battle. Other tribes such as the Pueblo captured them and kept them in cages.
There are two main types of eagle in North America: the golden eagle and the bald eagle. The golden eagle feeds on small mammals and snakes. However, they have been known to pick up a small dog or cat from a farmer's field. The bald eagle mostly feeds on fish and inhabited every large river in the country. With the growth of the European population the eagle population declined. The problem was that the bald eagles and humans were competing for the same food, and humans, with weapons at their disposal, had the advantage. As the human population expanded westward, the natural habitat of the eagles was destroyed, leaving them fewer places to nest and hunt, which caused the population of bald eagles to decline sharply by the end of the 19th century.