Newborn bald eagles grow at the rate of about one pound every four or five days and are about 1 foot tall at just 3 weeks of age. At 6 weeks, they are nearly as large as their parents and have developed black feathers that make them resemble golden eagles. They don't get the white head and tail until about 4 years of age. Eaglets begin stretching their wings in response to wind gusts at about 8 weeks and don't take their first flight until they are about 3 months old. About 40 percent of eaglets are killed in their first flight. Those that survive hang around the nest for an additional six to nine weeks before they are independent enough to survive on their own. They could stay in the area, but cold weather usually forces them to migrate south when lakes freeze over.