|By three months of age the eaglets are ready
or taking their first flight. If they are lucky, they will flutter to a
nearby perch and later fly back to the nest. If they are unlucky, they
can end up on the ground. Some will die because they cannot return to the
nest on their own.
The bald eagle is not born with its distinctive
coloration. Eaglets go through a series of molts before they achieve adult
plumage at four to five years of age. Once this milestone of adulthood
is reached, young birds retain their easily recognizable feathered splendor
all their life - a span of up to fifty years or more.
Young eagles stay with the adults for approximately
eight weeks after leaving the nest. The young soon learn to hunt for their
own food. Eagles that survive difficult first years of life can live to
be up to forty years old. Some eagles, which have been kept in captivity,
have lived to be as old as fifty years old.