Is there anyone that doesn’t love the Bald Eagle? Whenever I’ve seen one, everyone around, birder or not, stops to watch. Whether perched in a tree or soaring in the sky, it’s impossible not to be drawn to them.
The first time I saw a Bald Eagle up close was at a science and nature center near my home. They house several raptors who have been injured and rehabilitated, but cannot be returned to the wild. At the time, they had one Bald Eagle–now they have two. Several years ago, I attended a photography class at the center and got the shots above. They are of the older eagle.
This is the younger eagle. Her/his (I believe they think it is a female because of her size, but are not sure) head has not yet turned white. I believe it takes about five years for young eagles to get their adult plumage. I’m looking forward to watching this beautiful bird grow and change over the years. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website, I should be able to enjoy her for a long time. They state that the longevity record for Bald Eagles in the wild is 28 years, while it is 36 years for those in captivity.
These captive Bald Eagles were really the first I had seen. I had never been lucky enough to see one in the wild. But that has changed in the last few years. More and more, I see them soaring in the sky and even saw one up close catch his dinner. Last fall, my neighbor called to say there was one flying right over my house. I left dinner on the stove and went out to see.
There’s no mistaking that beautiful bird! I’m looking forward to seeing many more in the future.