Cache Creek, Merrit, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Osoyoos, Grand Forks
By Flight
#37448
skeller wrote:Newbie question here, whats the easiest way to tell a golden eagle apart from a juvenile bald eagle?
It's a good question, it's been a couple of years now I've been trying to decipher the two. Golden eagles are larger, but that's not much help when you cannot see them together.
By Nonnobissolum
#37453
Newbie question here, whats the easiest way to tell a golden eagle apart from a juvenile bald eagle?[/quote]

Fantastic shots! Perfect for this discussion. The definitive clue for the Golden Eagle are the golden feathers on the nape of the neck, clearly visible in the photos. Golden Eagles have this at all ages.

Also the Golden has all the all dark underwing in the adult bird (as in the photo), the subadults have clearly defined wing patches which are also a definitive field mark if seen well.

As your photos show, the immature Bald Eagles have extensive white mottling or streaking all over or anywhere on the underside. Goldens never have this, only the subadults have the clear wing patch.

I don't think the size difference will help you much in the field, if you get the chance to study both species together in flight, there are some differences in flight style and posture too.

Cheers, Max
By Flight
#37508
Nonnobissolum wrote:Newbie question here, whats the easiest way to tell a golden eagle apart from a juvenile bald eagle?
Fantastic shots! Perfect for this discussion. The definitive clue for the Golden Eagle are the golden feathers on the nape of the neck, clearly visible in the photos. Golden Eagles have this at all ages.

Also the Golden has all the all dark underwing in the adult bird (as in the photo), the subadults have clearly defined wing patches which are also a definitive field mark if seen well.

As your photos show, the immature Bald Eagles have extensive white mottling or streaking all over or anywhere on the underside. Goldens never have this, only the subadults have the clear wing patch.

I don't think the size difference will help you much in the field, if you get the chance to study both species together in flight, there are some differences in flight style and posture too.

Cheers, Max[/quote]

Right on, those are some good tips. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that golden nape and a lack of streaking on the underside as my quest to ID a golden eagle continues.

Thanks for clues!

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