Golden Day at the Hawkwatch

11 03 2011

Golden Eagle - Ed Sailer

I was pleased to get the first decent flight day at Braddock Bay Hawkwatch. After a so-so start, things picked up mid morning and as the throngs of local hawk aficionados gathered we were treated to a pretty good mid-morning flight. The birds were pretty haphazardly strewn across the sky, but there were plenty of birds that put on a good showing including the above Golden Eagle which came straight over the park. Unfortunately lighting conditions weren’t great but you can certainly get the idea from Ed’s shot.

As well as 100 raptors we were also treated to about 600 Snow Geese amongst the many thousands of Canada Geese, and I was pleased to find my first flyover Bluebird of the season. I would have liked to have seen the Evening Grosbeak that someone had flying over Owl Woods this morning (still no owls there it seems). I guess you can’t have everything!

Is it just me or is aging of Golden Eagles somewhat difficult, especially in spring. I’d be interested on any thoughts on this bird although there may not be enough detail in the shot?

EDIT: I should mention two excellent articles on the challenge of aging Golden Eagles by Jerry Liguori one on Utah Birds (here)  and one one from the ABA Birding Magazine (here).

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