Friday, December 15, 2017

Fabulous Feathers Part 3 - Tail Feathers

Bald eagles, like other birds, molt feathers to replace older, worn ones with newer ones.  It takes until between 5-7 years for a bald eagle to attain the white tail feathers that most of you associate with them.

The photos below were taken of clinic patient eagles.  You can see the pattern that is different/present on different ages of eagles.

Tail feathers of a second-year bird.
Tail feathers of a fourth-year bird.

Tail feathers of an adult bird.

The first photo is of a bird in its second year.  The next is of a bird in its fourth year.  And the final is that white tail that you all recognize. 

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