North and Central America
For the first four years after hatching, the Bald eagle has a brown coloration. Mature coloration evolves during the fifth year, when the bird transforms to exhibit the iconic white head and tail feathers. Immature bald eagles may be confused with Golden eagles. Until the bald eagle matures, telltale differences are the elongated head and shorter tail along with the mottled white splotching under the wing feathers.
During the breeding season, bald eagles can be observed performing elaborate courtship rituals while in flight. Swooping at one another, displaying cartwheel-like acrobatics, clasping talons in the air and spinning towards the ground, and letting go before ground impact are the amazing extreme displays between male and female bald eagles.
Symbol of a Nation
Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the United States’ national emblem.