Bald Eagle, Basic III plumage

January 10, 2014 in Bald Eagle

With extra time for eagle watching, spent some time just sitting on the banks of the Merrimack River.  The temps were in the 20’s with light snow and moderate winds.  Encountered this subadult eagle.  It flew a number of times back and forth across the river.  Thanks to review and input from Mark Faherty at Mass Audubon, this bird is categorized as a classic third year eagle.   Mark commented that the whiter the head, the older the bird.  Getting these eagles right, in terms of thier age and plumage is a terrific challenge with no shortcut for the learning curve!  It takes time and patience along with solid coaching from wiser and more experienced birders!  It a blessing when those types of birders are around and willing to help out!

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