Histoire Naturelle - Birds - Plate 1 - Eagle ~ In Ancient Egypt the eagle was almost totally ignored until Greek and Roman times. In fact, there is no hieroglyph for an eagle. In general terms, birds of prey are considered to be symbols of power. To the Egyptians, the falcon may have been regarded as interchangeable with a whole range of different birds of prey including the eagle. The bird of prey was also sometimes associated with the goddess Hathor.
Of course, the French considered the eagle as a symbol of imperial power, and it had great symbolism in Europe as well.