Atop the nearly 240-foot-tall (73 meters) column—which is taller than any of the buildings in Canberra’s Central Business District—sits a 36-foot (11-meter) eagle. Its wings are stretched high as it balances atop a sphere.
The big bird commemorates American military assistance to Australia in World War II. The statue was unveiled in 1954, at a time when the close friendship between Australia and the United States was really taking off. Much of the funding for the monument actually came from the Australian public.
Due to its location in the suburb of Russell, home to the headquarters of the Australian Defence Force, the structure is visible from many points along the shore of Lake Burley Griffin. However, since there is little other than defense offices in Russell, the column is often viewed from a great distance, its subject unclear. This has led to several nicknames, including the Chicken (or “Chook”) on a Stick, and Bugs Bunny.