Bald eagle youngster

I’ve seen more eagles in flight lately. One morning last week we saw five near the Dungeness bluffs and I saw another later in the day. This is an immature I saw near the Olympic Game Park near a group of trees that locals know are a good site for eagle watching. Each year an immature eagle slowly becomes more recognizable as it changes from an overall brown to the distinctive dark brown with white head and tail. This one is probably about three to four years old. The darker eye stripe is a third year trait, but the white head and tail and darker underparts may move it toward four.

I was interested to read that Ben Franklin, a respected naturalist, argued against naming the bald eagle as the U.S. national bird. He considered its scavenging of carrion and stealing fish from smaller ospreys “dishonorable.” An adult eagle will eat a lot of spawned-out salmon (carrion) but can also catch its own live prey.

6 thoughts on “Bald eagle youngster”

  1. How wonderful that you get to see eagles flying free! Your shots of them are awesome! We have about 100 nesting pairs in Alabama, but I have never seen any in the wild. They are awe inspiring birds. I am so glad that they are our national bird instead of the wild turkey. I know that turkeys are really smart, but they sound so stupid, walk around looking stupid and they don’t soar majestically.

  2. Birds in flight are not easy to capture but you did a masterful job on the soaring eagle. Love seeing the bottom pair, too. We have many eagles in MN but haven’t gotten a good shot of one yet. How fun it must be to be able to watch a young eagle mature!

  3. wow, the first pic is very cool.
    funny about franklin. i read in a book somewhere also that an eagle was not the best choice, i think because they are lazy, but i dont remember it anymore.
    it was in “Netherland”, a novel by Joseph O’Neill, which i liked very much.

  4. I really hadn’t seen eagles of any sort until I moved to the Olympic Peninsula. They are here and there in California but I was never in the right place at the right time. I like seeing young eagles because it means that the population is healthy and growing.

    I saw another younger immature on my walk this morning. Its underside was more speckled than this one and the tail was dark. They look a little like shaggy human teenagers.

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