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Posts posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. I saw these three baby ducks paddling together in an inlet to Lake DeSoto this afternoon.  When they didn't feel threatened, they came close to shore.  Near shore they were feeding on something under water, rarely bringing their heads above water.  I saw no adult ducks in the area.  But both Wood Ducks and Blue-winged Teal frequent this part of the lake.  They look what I'd imagine baby Mergansers would look like.  But I don't know what a baby Merganser looks like, and haven't seen any adult Mergansers in a while.







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  2. So let's muddy the waters a bit, shall we?  I learned a while back to stop calling Bald Eagles that weren't yet adults all as juveniles.  I reserve the juvenile moniker for when they haven't fledged yet.  I'm probably wrong in doing that.  But when does an eagle stop being an eaglet?  When it's no longer fuzzy and gets it's flight feathers?  I'm fairly confident that I can age an eagle by plumage as 2, 3, or 4 years old, and will start calling 4 year olds as sub-adults.  By my logic, if it's almost an adult, it's a sub-adult.  Not gunna call 'em teenagers.  I'm not trying to become an expert in all things eagle.  But when I post a bird image online somewhere, I like to be as accurate as possible as to what I call it.  Age, sex, breeding plumage, etc. 


  3. Seen last week at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, Iowa.  I know this is a Bald Eagle.  I also know Bald Eagles reach adulthood and attain their fully white head and tail feathers at around 5 years old.  Considering that, I'd say this eagle is about 4 years old.  What would be the correct way to call this eagle--immature, sub-adult, other?


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