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After viewing the common redpoll this morning at Tommie Rogers's place, I
took advantage of the  above zero temperatures to do some local birding.

The birds were actually quite active, seeing most of the expected species
considering the weather.  There were horned larks everywhere, but no
longspurs mixed in anywhere.  I also came across one rough-legged hawk and a
couple northern harriers at Bilby Ranch CA.  However the highlight of the
day was running across a large group of eagles, which brings me to my ID
question.

I was traveling northbound on a gravel road along the Missouri River,
somewhat near the town of Craig.  I came across a decent sized plot of trees
that was surrounded by farmland.  There were a little more than 12 bald
eagles (most immature) there, 7 in one small area of a tree, 3 more in a
nearby tree and a few flying around.    But the eagle that caught my eye was
completely different from anything I've seen before.  It was sitting alone
on another tree, not associating with the others.  Even when the other bald
eagles flew off this eagle remained, and when the bald eagles returned they
again perched in a tree that was was at least 100 feet away from this eagle.
  My initial gut reaction was Golden Eagle, but the marks were not 100%
consistent with the field guides.  I viewed this eagle through a scope at
45x, with easy comparisons to the nearby immature bald eagles in excellent
lighting.  Unfortunately my camera battery had just died 10 minutes earlier.

These are the fieldmarks I noted as it was perched facing me:

FEATHERED LEGS AND FEET- there was distinct fluffy bright gold feathers
covering its leg to the tip of it's toes.  Was the first thing I noticed,
unlike anything I've seen on a bald eagle.
BREAST- Overall obvious golden coloring with less noticeable dark streak
within the individual feathers
NECK- pretty dark colored
TAIL- posterior side of tail feathers were overall dark, washed with a
little white in the middle
BEAK- Front portion was black. Obvious bright yellow rictus.  The area where
the beak 'joins into the face'  was seemingly big and pale white.
HEAD-Appeared to possibly have a very very slight gold tint.  The feathers
were angled harshly posteriorly.
WINGS- Although never spread, the wrist (alular digit area) had a small
section of white showing.

After making note of everything I could think of, I decided to try to flush
it to get a look at the wing and tail pattern.  When I did that it flew
directly deeper into the trees, keeping the tail flat to the horizon, unable
to see any surface well.  I know the tip of the tail feathers were black at
least.  The underside of the wings also had some white, a little more than
what the field guides show as immatures golden eagles having, but far less
white than the nearby immature bald eagles.

Any opinions or suggestions would be helpful and appreciative.  If you want
specific directions to the area, let me know.

Thanks,

David Farmer
Maryville MO
[log in to unmask]




----Original Message Follows----
From: "Tommie Rogers" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "David Farmer" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Redpoll in Holt county
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 18:11:25 -0600


   David, it came often this morning.  It feeds on the upper deck, so I will
let you come inside to watch it.  Otherwise, I am not sure you can see it.
Before the snow storm, it would feed under the tree on the ground so it was
easy to see from the driveway.  It fed ravenously today for the first time
since it arrived.  The cold is so hard on all the birds.  When you enter
Mound City go north to hwy N and go uphill to the top.  Turn right on Sunset
and continue to the stop sign.  Our house is the yellow brick with
green/blue shutters.  Park in the driveway and ring the door bell.  It
starts coming at 7:30, but you don't have to be here that early.  Just plan
to stay for at least an hour to give it time to visit.
   If you need to call:   660-442-9924
   Tommie


   Subject: RE: Redpoll in Holt county


   > Tommie-
   >
   > Would it be possible for me to 'get a viewing' of the redpoll this
friday
   > morning or early afternoon?  I'm a wildlife major up at NWMSU, and have
   > fridays off from classes.  Is there any consistent times that the bird
   > appears?  It would be a lifer for me.
   >
   > Thanks,
   > David Farmer
   > Maryville MO
   > [log in to unmask]
   >
   >
   >
   >
   >
   >
   > ----Original Message Follows----
   > From: Tommie Rogers <[log in to unmask]>
   > Reply-To: Tommie Rogers <[log in to unmask]>
   > To: [log in to unmask]
   > Subject: Redpoll in Holt county
   > Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 07:58:20 -0600
   >
   > The C Redpoll returned yesterday and today at 7:30 AM.  The temperature
is
   > below zero and snow covers the ground.  The little visitor learned to
use a
   > tray feeder on the back deck.  I sprinkled seed on the snow for juncos,
   > American Tree and Harris sparrows.  If you want to see the bird, please
   > e-mail me.
   > Thanks and good birding.
   > Tommie Rogers
   > Holt county
   > [log in to unmask]
   >
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*        Audubon Society of Missouri's           *
*         Wild Bird Discussion Forum             *
*------------------------------------------------*
* To unsubscribe send the message                *
*    SIGNOFF MOBIRDS-L                           *
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