• Golden Eagle

    Common NameGolden Eagle
    Scientific NameAquila chrysaetos
    Type of ReportOut-of-Season
    Date of Observation02/19/2017
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameC. J. Frankiewicz
    Mailing Address1173 E Clarendon Rd.
    N Clarendon, Vermont 05759-9659
    United States
    Map It
    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed02/22/2017
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    Kathleen Pellegrino Guinness

    Latitude of Observation43°32'29.6"N
    Longitude of Observation72°56'28.7"W
    Place NameGrand View Farm
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day03:00 PM
    Length of Time Observedless than one minute
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)600 going away
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)125 directly overhead
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Sunny and clear.

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Leupold Pinnacles 10x42 binoculars (cjf)

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    CJF has seen Golden Eagles in Montana over 20 years ago; none in the East. KPG has never seen a Golden Eagle.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    125 feet in the air over my side yard, meadow in back of my house, and over woods.

    Behaviors Observed

    Mostly flapped going west, north, and east. Some soaring.

    Description of Vocalizations


    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    Discernible white speckling (not solid) at base of tail. White area at base of primaries, discernible but not bright white. Otherwise, black bird, especially underwing coverts, axillaries, breast, belly, and undertail coverts. Trailing edge of wings and wing ends also dark surrounding the white area base of primaries. Small head relative to Bald Eagle. No lilting flight. No dihedral. Much flapping different than Turkey Vulture. Flew by quite closely overhead on one side of my house and with naked eye I thought eagle immediately. Ran through my house to get my binoculars to see the bird in back of my house where I nailed the field marks.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Very large dark raptor but seemed smaller than a Bald Eagle, especially so close overhead.


    Smaller than Bald Eagle. Did not see golden head and neck.

    Feet & Bill

    Did not see.

    Upper Back

    Did not see.

    Lower Back & Rump

    Did not see.


    Broad and buteo-like. Underwing coverts and axillaries were dark. Trailing edge of wings and wing ends also dark surrounding the white area at base of primaries. Did seem like it had a broader "hand" but I didn't know that until I consulted Sibley.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Breast, belly, and undertail coverts were dark. Along with underwing coverts and axillaries, they formed a flat V that was darker than the trailing edge of wing and wing ends. That flat V stood out (just like on the Gyrfalcon I saw recently).


    Discernable white speckling (not solid) at base of broad black tail.

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Small head and white areas were different than Bald Eagle's, adult or juvenile. Smaller size too. Lack of lilting and lack of dihedral excluded Turkey Vulture.

    Other Notes & Comments


    This report was written from notes taken:Immediately After

    More Posts from VCE