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Posts Tagged ‘immature bald eagle’

Yesterday morning I was delighted to spot this immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It takes approximately five years for a Bald Eagle to gets its classic white head and I estimate this one to be about three years old, judging from its coloration.

Initially I spotted the eagle when it flew into the midst of a group of trees. I moved around only a little, fearful of spooking the bird, and captured the second shot below when the eagle leaned forward a little and exposed its head. Moving as stealthily as I could, I maneuvered to a position from which I had a somewhat clearer shot and captured the third shot below. I noted that the eagle was crouching, which is often a prelude to taking off, but the eagle remained in place.

Eventually I reached a little opening and was able to capture the first image, which I think is the best of the group. The tree in which the eagle is perched is, I believe, a sycamore. Unlike the sweet gum trees with spiky seed balls that have appeared in many of my perched eagle shots, the seed balls of this tree appear to be much smoother.

If you are interested in the developmental stages of a Bald Eagle and how its appearance changes over time, I recommend that you check out a posting from onthewingphotography.com entitled “Bald Eagles – Age Progression from one to five years old” that features wonderful photographs of each stage.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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This immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) certainly was aware of my presence on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, judging by the intensity of the stare it directed toward me. I am guessing that the eagle is about three years old—it takes almost five years for its head feathers to turn completely white and for its beak to turn yellow. At this stage of development, bald eagles look a little scruffy and have not yet acquired the majestic look that I associate with this species.

If you are interested in seeing images of the developmental stages of the bald eagle, check out this posting from onthewingphotography.com that shows an eagle’s age progression from one to five years old.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When this immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) fixed its eyes on me on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and flew straight toward me, I couldn’t help but feel a little concerned. As it turned out, the young eagle was simply soaring and veered away—and my heartbeat eventually returned to a normal rate.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The skies were heavily overcast on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, so colors didn’t “pop” at all. However, I really like the almost monochromatic feel of this image I captured of a young Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), with just the slightest bit of yellow showing around its talons.

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Folks with more experience can tell the age of this immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from its colors and the pattern of its plumage. As for me, I was thrilled to get a shot of it when it flew over me yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I found a helpful posting on-line, A Guide To Aging Bald Eagles by Ron Dudley, that provides helpful tips and photographs for determining the age of an immature Bald Eagle. I am not completely certain, but it looks like this eagle may be in its second or third year, though I would welcome a correction or clarification from someone who has more experience with birds than I do.

immature Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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