Monday, August 17, 2015

Which is Which-The Answers

Golden Eagle or Bald Eagle? How did you do?


Answer- Immature Bald Eagle

The almost complete brown color says Golden Eagle but the heavy large beak gives this away as probably a first year immature Bald Eagle.  The Immature Bald Eagle varies in color and usually gets more white patches as it gets older.  The "bald" head, yellow beak and white tail feathers of an adult Bald Eagle usually takes 4 to 5 years to develop. Thanks to Karen C for the great shot.  


photo credit: Juan Lacruz/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Answer- Adult Golden Eagle

The "golden head" shows up well in this photograph.  The smaller "hawk like" bill gives this away as an adult Golden Eagle.  Also note the smaller size head of the Golden Eagle.  Bald Eagles have much larger heads than the Golden Eagle.


photo credit: Pat Gaines/Creative Commons

Answer- Golden Eagle

The smaller size beak and Golden brown head makes this one a Golden Eagle.  The interesting thing about this photograph is the white patches on the wings and tail.  This one is probably an immature Golden Eagle.  An adult Golden Eagle would have all brown wings and a pattern of white and brown stripes.  


Answer- Immature Bald Eagle

The heavy bill gives this one away as an Immature Bald Eagle.  Also with the wings up, we can see the varied patches of white that is common in an immature.  The larger head can also be used to ID this one.  The third year Immature Bald Eagle would have much more white everywhere on its body.  This would make this one a younger immature, probably a first year.  Sadly only, 50% of Bald Eagles live past their first year of life.  Thanks again to Karen C for the great shot.


photo credit: unknown/creative commons image was removed after used
  Answer- Immature Golden Eagle

Again the bill size and smaller head gives this one away as a Golden Eagle.  The patches on the wings and solid white part on the tail identifies it as an immature.  

I hope you enjoyed this ID test and learned how to better ID these large Birds of Prey.  Stay tuned for more tricky bird IDs and thank you all for your support.  

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