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Old Jan 21, 2012, 1:27 PM   #1
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Default 3rd year Bald Eagle

I had a nice opportunity to photograph this 3rd year Immature Bald Eagle last weekend. It was roosting in a large Cottonwood tree and would occasionally fly out to scare up ducks and then return to the tree. This is a behavior that I have learned over the last few years to be on the watch for. It offers some great opportunities for flight shots.

This is an extreme crop of the eagle flying right at me on his return to the Cottonwood tree. He was about 90-100 meters away. Not the sharpest shot but a very cool angle, I think.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 1:28 PM   #2
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Getting close to the tree.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 1:29 PM   #3
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Arriving at the tree from another trip out to tease the ducks.

Just FYI, the reason I ID'd him as a 3rd year is because of the lack of white feathers in his wing-pits and the smooth trailing edges of the wing feathers. 2nd year birds exhibit the white wing-pits and the trailing edges of their wings have a much more uneven and rough appearance.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 1:31 PM   #4
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A couple of shots of him roosting in the Cottonwood.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 1:32 PM   #5
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Closeup of his head.

Thanks for looking.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 2:28 PM   #6
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Very nice shots, Steve. I didn't know they retain their juvenile colors for that many years. When will he get the signature white head?
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 3:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saly View Post
Very nice shots, Steve. I didn't know they retain their juvenile colors for that many years. When will he get the signature white head?

Thanks Saly.

As you can see the white head and yellow beak are beginning to fill in. The eyes are already that steely grey so I am guessing he is a late 3rd year or very early 4th year. By the end of the 4th year he will have his typical full adult bald eagle coloring.
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 4:15 PM   #8
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Great shots, Nice sharp closeups even with the crop
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 4:33 PM   #9
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They are all great, I like the last one the best.
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 2:58 PM   #10
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Thank you Mugmar and Loren. I appreciate you taking a look and leaving a comment.

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Steve
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