One of the most popular models for a US coin can be seen at the US Mint in Philadelphia. I made a special trip to see this model. Collectors are familiar with the coins to this day.
Peter the eagle was a bald eagle who was a regular visitor to the Mint in Philadelphia. His lovely form can be seen on many US coins, most notably the Gobrecht dollar and the Flying Eagle cent. The bird was an unofficial mascot of the Mint. It's unknown what attracted this bird to the Mint. Maybe it was all the activity, all the people.
The eagle died after one of his wings was caught in machinery. The bird was preserved and is mounted, still visible at the Philadelphia Mint. I made a point of viewing this beautiful bird when I toured the Mint some years ago. He was also the subject of an article I wrote, "A salute to Peter the eagle."