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Bald Eagles in Arkansas are making a huge comeback.  Since December of last year, I have seen about five flying around the farm.  Most are in hunt of the many ducks that are here on our ponds.

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This magnificent bird showed up one day from out of the blue.  Now, when you think of a bald eagle you automatically think of a white head.  Well, this bird did not have the white head yet. Bald eagles do not get their famous white heads until after their fourth and fifth year of life.  I knew it was an eagle but I just didn’t know for sure if it was a bald eagle or a golden eagle.

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This bird was massive with wing span of around seven feet. To help identify this bird I turned to a great website for help.  Bald Eagle Info .com.  After studying and comparing the shots of bald eagles wings and feathers, this great web site helped me determine that it was a juvenile bald eagle.


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One of the ducks that was trying to fly away from the eagle was the Scaup.

Greater and Lesser Scaup:

Often found together, the greater and lesser scaup ducks are distinguished by size. Drakes have dark black heads tinted with iridescent green with black necks, and breasts. The back, belly and flanks are white. Bills are blue gray with a black rim, feet and legs are gray. Hens are mottled brown with white patches on their gray bills. Arkansas Duck Guide

 

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Here you see some Mallards trying to fly .

The eagle was flying around and over me and trying to land on the water. It wasn’t paying any attention to my presence because it had hunting for a meal on it’s mind. There were only a few ducks on the pond and they took off fast and didn’t return until long after the eagle was gone.  They have no problem carrying a full grown duck.  Lifting power of a grown eagle is about four pounds.

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The plumage of the immature is a dark brown overlaid with messy white streaking until the fifth (rarely fourth, very rarely third) year, when it reaches sexual maturity.[2][3] Immature bald eagles are distinguishable from the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the only other very large, non-vulturine bird in North America, in that the former has a larger, more protruding head with a larger beak, straighter edged wings which are held flat (not slightly raised) and with a stiffer wing beat and feathers which do not completely cover the legs. When seen well, the golden eagle is distinctive in plumage with a more solid warm brown color than an immature bald eagle, with a reddish-golden patch to its nape and (in immature birds) a highly contrasting set of white squares on the wing.[6] Another distinguishing feature of the immature bald eagle over the mature bird is its black, yellow-tipped beak; the mature eagle has a fully yellow beak.( Wikipedia )

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Every time I see an eagle I am in awe of how majestic and strong they are.  Such a proud symbol of our country with it’s stern and proud look.

 

Bald Eagle Info . com – Poems

He’s as graceful as they come
A descendent from above
There is no fear nor is there shame
The mountains his nest
The skies his domain

He doesn’t borrow, nor does he steal
fighting the forces of nature
to find his next meal
But he’s in serious danger
with all the power that he obtains
His life may soon end
because of senseless human gains

Please treasure this king
respect as you may
He’s the almighty eagle
of the U.S.A.

© Jerry R. Bowen

Poem courtesy of Jerry R. Bowen

 

Leah




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