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Stages of Plumage; From Juvenile to Adult.
Topic Started: Jan 10 2008, 12:18 PM (2,448 Views)
Cumbrian
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As the eagles mature from Chick to Adult their plumage changes, also noticeable changes occur with their eye and beak coloration.

During the first four weeks of life, an eaglet's fluffy white down changes to a gray thermal down. Then brown and black juvenile feathers begin to grow. The eaglet is fully feathered at 10 weeks of age. In its first year, the mostly dark-colored juvenile can often be mistaken as a golden eagle. The bald eagle progressively changes until it reaches adult plumage at five years. Its dark eye lightens throughout its first four years of life until it becomes yellow. Also its beak changes from gray-black to a vibrant yellow.The white head and tail announce that it is of breeding age.


The photographs of A-40 .. A-33 & K-26 were taken from the March 15th, 2007 .. SC Update. .... More photos will be added as/when they are posted on the forum.

I added the photograph of A-24 on September 1/10 ... to show a 3 year old's plumage.


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This shot of A-40 was taken at about 1 year of age. You can see the different levels of 'fade' in the feathers. The very dark brown feathers on the back are probably freshly grown, whereas the blonder feathers are most likely older.


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This picture of A-33 really show off the varied plumage of a typical 2 year old.

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This is A-24 .. Class of 2004 .. taken in January 2007 .. as a 3 year old.


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Here's K-26 at 4 years old. She has the typical white-head of a mature adult, but still has a lot of brown in the tail.
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Just for fun ... here is K-83 ... Star ... Class of 2008.

This is how all the eagles start out!


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TH chicklet, K-83(f) Star, 1 day old. Egg retrieved from the TH nest and hatched at the IWS lab.


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Fostered back into the nest when she was 1 week old. See her full crop.


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................................................8 weeks old ... Banding Day.



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K-83 spotted in Butte Valley CA, June 15, 2011. Now 3 years old.


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K-83 visited the Big Bear Lake nest on September 7, 2016. 8 Years old.
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Here are photos of A-46 .. Class of 2006 .. showing the gradual change in his plumage.

I couldn't find a photo of him at 1 years old .. he did a lot of travelling.


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Spotted in Vancouver, B.C. Canada .. December 2006.

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In Oregon .. October 2008.

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In Goleta, CA February 2009.

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Fry's Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. June 2010.
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