Golden Eagle: A Second View

I am always skeptical when someone reports seeing a Golden Eagle in Wisconsin.  Some very reputable sources have reported in local newspapers of seeing them along the bluffs of the Mississippi River and along the lower portion of the Wisconsin River throughout this past winter.  What ultimately sells this as a Golden Eagle for me is the eyes.  I have several good shots of this bird and the eyes are dark like a Golden Eagle’s, not yellow like an immature Bald Eagle’s. 


4 Responses to “Golden Eagle: A Second View”

  1. April 4, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Just a short not. Not all immature bald eagles have wheat colored eyes. The eye color changes as the eagle matures.

    And finally in the this last link is a discussion of a similar bit of confusion.

    Here in Idaho we have both Bald and Golden Eagles. They are often misidentified. If they are catching fish, they definitely are not a Golden.

  2. 2 Wapello Warbler
    April 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I have to agree with Wayne. Also, there appear to be too many white feathers above and below for this to be a golden eagle. For a picture of a bald eagle with brown eyes see this picture on my blog.

  3. 3 Randy Roberts
    April 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Warbler: I know this isn’t a Golden Eagle. What I’m looking for is someone who actually knows the difference and can teach me that difference. Having given up on the people who blog, because no one seems to know, I have contacted a wildlife biologist. I’ve also been researching on the web. The reason? We do have Golden Eagles. These birds migrate through this area. Wisconsin and Minnesota wildlife mangers have captured two pairs and have been radio tracking them. They migrate amazing distances. What I’m attempting to do is educate myself on the difference between the two and hopefully will be able to pull together reputable sources into one article and then, if and when I see one, will know for certain what I’m looking at. From my research so far the only way to know when you’re looking at a Golden Eagle is that they have feathers that go to their toes. In the first photo you can see the bird’s bare legs. Eye color really doesn’t matter because eagles seem to have varying colors of eyes, including hazel. Anyway, I didn’t want this to turn into a discussion of I’m wrong. I already knew I was wrong.

  4. 4 Wapello Warbler
    April 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Randy, since we also have both birds in our area, I look forward to reading your article.

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April 2010

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