Juvenile Bald Eagle

A recent quick cruise through Bombay Hook NWR along their wildlife drive provided a few birding opportunities, including a juvenile Bald Eagle in flight.

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We are most familiar with the classic look of the Bald Eagle; the white head & tail, dark brown body & wings, and bright yellow beak & feet.  This adult plumage is attained in five years after birth.

But before they attain their “classic look”, Bald Eagles are born dark brown with black beaks and then go through phases the next three years, becoming more mottled with white each year, while the beak begins to attain a yellow hue down its length.  Their fourth year begins the final phase of of the head and tail attaining more white while the body and wings loose the white and go back to brown.

This is a 3rd year Bald Eagle.

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I watched this Bald Eagle as he eyed the ducks in Shearness Pool below.  Frantic mayhem simultaneously occurred as those ducks eyed him as well and quickly took flight away from his direction.

He didn’t seem to care to chase them.  But I bet he snickered.

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And off he flew, to the tree line where he landed.

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It is always a great day to see and photograph a Bald Eagle!


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