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I’m really glad to hear that others are seeing the Golden Eagle at EBCA! I’d strongly suspect it is the same bird, but you NEVER know. The bird that we saw on Wednesday was a classic 1st year Golden- discrete white patch at the base (closest to the body) of the tail, and also on the wings. If you have a Sibley, take a look at the first year Golden illustrated in there- that is very close to the bird I saw. It seemed to be enjoying harassing the nearby Bald Eagles.

 

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For those unfamiliar with Golden vs. immature Bald Eagle identification, proceed with caution. There are LOTS of immature Bald Eagles out there right now, and they can look very similar to a Golden. The main things I look for first are the shiny, Golden nape (lacking on all immature Balds, although their heads can sometimes look light brownish in some lights) and, in immature Goldens, discrete white patch on the base of the tail, and sometimes on the wings. Immature Bald Eagles can have white underneath (and sometimes above) too, but they have a much more ratty appearance that generally looks like splattered white paint, as opposed to the more neat patches of white on an immature Golden. Goldens do also have a smaller head and feathered legs, but these can be tough to judge/see, especially if you’ve never seen one before.

 

Hopefully the bird will stick around- I’m taking Aidan out there tomorrow AM to try and find it again. Good luck to everyone else!

 

Andrew Forbes, Resource Scientist (Avian Ecologist)

Missouri Department of Conservation

1110 S. College Ave.

Columbia, MO  65201

ph. 573-882-9909 ext. 3241

fax. 573-882-4517

 

From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Hazelwood, Susan
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 1:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Golden Eagle at EBCA

 

Anne Downing just phoned to report relocating the Golden Eagle at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area in southern Boone County. The assumption is that this is the same bird seen and reported by Andy Forbes earlier in the week. Today’s sighting was from the main road that goes along the distribution channel. Anne was parked in a parking lot about half way between the first and second one-way loops. The Golden Eagle was perched in a tree on the Perche Creek, bluff side of the road. A spotting scope was required for the excellent view that had Anne so excited.

 

Anne also reported another birder, who gave her directions to the Golden Eagle’s location, saying that she had observed the Golden Eagle breaking off a stick and struggling to carry it in flight.

 

As an almost after thought Anne described Eagle Bluffs CA as “swarming with geese.” She said whatever kind of goose (except perhaps a cooked one) could be found down there in good numbers this afternoon.

 

Susan Hazelwood

MOBirds-L Co-Owner

Columbia, MO

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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
List archives: https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
List archives: https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html