Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bald Eagle feathers

Today I was walking in the vicinity of the Bald Eagle nest near the Willamette River here in Yamhill Co. I came upon these feathers lying on the ground there, and I assume they came from a molting Eagle. Judging by the 3 1/2 inch long pocket knife, I think the larger of these feathers is probably a secondary flight feather, but I'm not sure if the white feather came from the tail or from the head or neck. The shape doesn't seem right for a tail feather, and too long to be from the head or neck, but I know that this is one big bird.


At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The white feather is either a close body feather, as in close to the skin, or from under the tail. The larger of the two is finately part of the wing, more an upper layer feather and yes they are both Bald Eagle

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eagles don t molt only gulls and duck molt

At 6:30 PM, Blogger FS said...

Thanks for your comment, but I must correct what you said. The fact is, according to the Audubon Encyclopedia of North American Birds, "All adult birds molt at least once a year." A few lines later are these words: "In eagles and vultures, only part of the large wing feathers are renewed in one prebasic molt. ... This is an adaptation for maintaining effective flying ability throughout the period of molting."

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can be fined for that. Not that you strike me as one to bother the nest, but for reasons of poaching idiots no one normal can pick up a feather near the nest or on the ground anyhow.
This sucks because some of us know not to disturb the eagles or frequent the nests or hunting grounds to stalk them for their feathers lest we jeopardize their territory.
Good find, though.


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