A bit of an educational piece for those unaware.
Bald eagles don’t get their famous, white heads until they are between four and five years old. When they first fledge from the nest, they are entirely brown. Over the intervening years, they undergo a gradual transformation into the eagles we all envision as our national emblem. In this image, taken this past Friday of three eagles sitting together, you can see how they change.
On the right, the youngest bald eagle, coming up on its first birthday. On the left, a second year eagle, showing white on its back and wings and a lightening of the feathers on the head. In the middle, a three-year-old, starting to get that white head but still showing streaks of brown (I call them dirty heads – haha). Not seen is a four-year-old which would look pretty close to an adult with only a slight bit of dark left in its head.
At the time I took the image, I didn’t realize what a cool opportunity it was to showcase the differences and now I kind of regret not spending more time trying to get a better shot of them. Nevertheless, this does a nice job demonstrating the differences.