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Young eagles learning to fly can appear to be injured

 

The immature bald eagle will be the same size as adults, but the plumage on its head will remain dark until about five years of age, when it turns the signature white.

MILES CITY – In recent days several people have called or commented about seeing the eagles from the Main Street nest on the ground, on the Tongue River bridge, or even appearing to be injured.

This is a common occurrence this time of year, as the young eagles are fledging or learning to fly at around 10 to 12 weeks old. They are the same size as adults, but they are awkward as they test out their flight skills and can appear to be injured. Eaglets will spend a considerable amount of time on the ground, hopping around and flapping their wings to gain strength. They also fly short distances and often appear clumsy.

During this time, the young are still cared for by the adults, who bring them food, and they may remain around the nest for several weeks after fledging.

Because the eagles are full size and have sharp talons and beaks, people are advised to give them plenty of space. The parents are generally nearby or will return and there is no cause for concern.

 

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