The Golden Eagle is by far the rarer of the eagles in these parts. They are larger than the Bald Eagle and sometimes from a distance one might wonder if it is an eagle or a turkey atop that pole. Many of the eagle and hawk pictures on the prairie are taken from a car window. Trust me, you can’t sneak up on them when they are atop the tallest object in the region and can see everything three miles in any direction. But they are often surprisingly patient. That tells me they don’t often get shot at.
Besides the golden feathers on the neck and head, a young Golden Eagle can be distinguished from a young Bald Eagle by the white feathers on the undersides of the wing. They are more organized. (Refer to the young Bald Eagle photo for comparison.)
This poor fellow, watching a prairie dog town, has only one eye.
Here a former ranger at North Sterling State Park inspects a young Golden Eagle–two years judging by the tail stripe–that was killed when it collided with electrical lines near dusk. The bird was frozen and transported to an organization that provides legal eagle parts for American Indian celebrations.