A Young Bald EagleApril 1, 2007


A few days ago I had a lucky encounter. Sue and I were at Bald Eagle State Park to look for some fossil brachipods and clams and to check the bald eagle's nest across the lake. It had been reported that for the third year in a row, the local eagles had hatched two eaglets.

While looking toward the nest (well over 2000 feet away), I noticed a motion to my left and saw a large shape cruising nearby.

Immature bald eagle

It is an immature bald eagle, a little over a year old (with identification help from the experts at the State College birding list). Technically it would be classed as a Basic II, having its first plummage as a young adult. (Some folks refer to it as Basic I, but whatever: The bald eagle shown here was a little over 1 year old at the time.)

The following photo isn't as sharp as I'd prefer, but it shows a top view.

Immature bald eagle

The young bald eagle flew southward across the lake, made a left turn and flew east, and then came about and soared west along the opposite shore and above the bald eagle nest. Naturally, I'd like to think that the young eagle was visiting the site of its first nest.

Following is my favorite photo of kid eagle.

Immature bald eagle, Basic I

It's considered good news for any young eagle surviving the first year, because that period is the crucial time when an eagle must learn to live on its own.

Photo note: On 29 March 2007, I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens, for these photos.  

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