• Golden Eagle

    Common NameGolden Eagle
    Scientific NameAquila chrysaetos
    Type of ReportOut-of-Season
    Date of Observation12/23/2016
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameSusan Elliott
    Mailing Address62 Heather Lane
    Rutland, Vermont 05701
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed12/26/2016
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    Marvin Elliott

    Latitude of Observation43.625403
    Longitude of Observation-73.3733477
    Place NameCogman Road (near intersection with Ghost Hollow Road)
    TownshipWest Haven
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day11:42 AM
    Length of Time Observed2 minutes
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)0
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)0
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Sky: clear. light in relation to observer's position: behind us (we were looking up and north with a winter sun) temperature: 38 F

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Vortex Viper 8x42; Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42; photographed with 400 mm lens

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    observed once in Vermont at Mt. Philo State Park during a hawk watch; also observed a couple times in Wyoming and California

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

    riparian/agricultural; Poultney River on one side of road; cliffs and wetland on other; agricultural fields nearby

    Behaviors Observed

    circling above us and then peeling off and out of sight

    Description of Vocalizations


    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    bird observed was circling above us; seen with binoculars and photographed with 400 mm lens.

    Relative Size & Shape

    large raptor, same size as a Bald Eagle


    golden head and nape; darker in face

    Feet & Bill

    heavy bill, a little lighter in color than dark face; feet yellow

    Upper Back

    not seen

    Lower Back & Rump

    not seen


    very long in relation to body; dorsal side not seen; dark underneath with golden leading edge; wing linings slightly darker than primaries and secondaries, but not a great deal of contrast

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts



    fan-shaped; white at base, dark at ends

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

    We see Bald Eagles on a regular basis. In fact, on this day we observed an immature Bald Eagle (no white head or tail and with a mottled brown body and head) feasting on a cow carcass with two adults in the trees on nearby Book Road. Shortly after observing the Golden Eagle, one of us saw two immature Bald Eagles soaring, but at a much higher altitude than the Golden Eagle. The underparts of these birds were very mottled looking.

    Other Notes & Comments

    Immature or second year bird; white at base of tail distinct; no white markings in wings. Sibley and Peterson Hawk Guide indicate white in wings may not always be present

    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory

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