The Bald Eagle, the emblem bird of the United States, is soaring above the islands this time of the year. Many Bald Eagles in the south, especially along the coast, are permanent residents but the influx to Southwest Florida is still apparent from birds traveling south from as far as Canada for the Winter season.

The immature Bald Eagle ( Top Photo ) is drastically different in appearance from the adult and is sometimes confused with other eagle species that inhabit different regions throughout the country. The immature Bald Eagle is often noticeably larger in size as it can be still holding onto some of that " baby weight" from being well taken care of by the parents. By the age of 5 the head and tail feathers will have converted to the bright white that we all know the Bald Eagle by. 5 years is also the age at which they are reproductively mature.

I've witnessed on several occasions the aerial battle of the Bald Eagle and the Osprey. The Osprey, a much better fisherman, will be preyed upon by the eagle while in flight with a fresh catch. The stronger, faster eagle won't always win the battle but if it does, the fish that has fallen from the Ospreys grasp ends up on a fairway and the eagle is there to grab it up. The Osprey is left to fish again in the waters surrounding the islands.

Eagles are no doubt a crowd pleaser to see! I hope you can pick out both the immatures and bold recognizable adults that are all around the islands this time of the year.