golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 32 inches Wingspan: 78 inches

  • Very large, broad-winged, broad-tailed hawk

  • Sexes similar

  • Short, dark, hooked beak with yellow cere

Adult:

  • Golden feathering on nape

  • Plumage almost entirely dark brown, without white in underwing            coverts

  • Two pale brown median tail bands

  • Golden band on upperwing coverts

Immature:

  • Plumage almost entirely dark brown

  • White bases to outer secondaries and inner primaries produces oval,           white patch

  • White tail with broad, crisp, dark terminal band

Subadult:

  • Plumage gradually darkens to resemble that of adult, with white in           wings disappearing

Similar species:

Turkey vulture has a tiny, unfeathered head, holds its wings in a dihedral
and has contrastingly paler flight feathers while black vulture has white
outer primaries and quite different, snappy wingbeats. Immature bald
eagles are similar (very large and dark overall) but differ in fundemental
aspects of shape. Golden eagles are smaller-headed, smaller-billed and
somewhat slimmer-winged than bald eagles and fly with wings held in a
dihedral. Immature bald eagles always have patchy white underwings
and (occasionally) bellies. Golden eagles have crisp white patches
restricted to the inner primaries and base of tail. Immature golden
eagles have yellow ceres while immature balds have dark ceres, a useful
mark for perched birds. At great heights, dark morph buteos can be
similar but are always shorter-winged with more diffuse white areas
on underwings and different tail patterns.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: Short distance migrant
Breeding Habitat: N/A
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: N/A
Clutch Size: 1-3
Length of Incubation: 43-45 days
Days to Fledge: 66-75
Number of Broods: 1
Diet: Mostly small mammals; lesser quantities of birds, reptiles or
   amphibians, insects

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
R
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November
O

      Winter: December, January, February R

 

 

Back to Inventory of Bird Families and Species

Home Page

Park Activities

   Calendar of Events
  
Volunteer Programs

   Park Regulations

Sky Meadows Park
  
Location
   Geography
   Habitats
   Trails
   Visiting Park

   Virtual Tours

Crooked Run Valley

   Historic District

   Architecture Sites

   Mt. Bleak

   Historical Events

   Park History

   Agriculture

Special Projects

   Blue Bird

   Biodiversity Survey

   BioBlitz 

 

Home Page

Nature Guide

   Purpose

   Databases

   Copyright

Plants

   Trees

   Shrubs

   Vines

   Forbs/Herbs

   Ferns

   Grasses

Animals

   Mammals

   Birds

   Reptiles

   Amphibians

   Fish

   Butterflies

   Bees

Fungi

   Mushrooms

   Lichens