December 9, 2015 6:37 AM EST

Last August, as Person of the Year runner-up Donald Trump was establishing himself as a real contender, the candidate agreed to pose with a bald eagle for a TIME cover story. The idea came from Martin Schoeller, the award-winning portrait photographer and frequent TIME contributor who shot the cover.

The eagle’s name, for the record, is Uncle Sam, and he’s 27 years old.


GIF by Mia Tramz for TIME
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