In a previous post, Eagle Quiz, I asked readers to try to identify a photo of an eagle, immature.
Thank you all for your replies, some of which were right, some of which were wrong – don’t worry if you got it wrong – it was just a little quiz.
Here’s the picture again with some of the key factors on identifying these birds.
1: The size of the beak; larger beak for the Bald, smaller for the Golden.
2: The amount of white on the under wing; the Bald has more, especially noticeable being the white wingpits.
3: The amount of feathers on its legs: as showed in the picture below, the Bald Eagle has lightly feathered ankles whereas the Golden has heavy plumage.
4: The size of the head; as with the beak, Bald Eagles have larger heads, Golden tend to have smaller.
If you haven’t already guessed, the photo is of… a Bald Eagle!
Here’s an excellent article that goes into some more detail:
“The Field Identification of North American Eagles”