It Takes Bald Eagles 5 Years To Obtain Their White Heads

May 12, 2020

Bald eagles are not born with white head and tail feathers. It takes 5 years for this process to occur.

During this time, their eyes also lighten -- going from dark brown to a light gold or amber -- and their beaks gradually turn yellow.


bald eagle
Romeo and Juliet / Credit: American Eagle Foundation

1 Year

bald eagle
U.S. Forest Service

2 Years

3 Years

4 Years

Penny (Same Bird)

bald eagle
Credit: American Eagle Foundation

Adult and Juvenile

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