Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Creature

This is another photo from last weekend's trip to Amicalola Falls. Someone's going to have to help me with the ID -- I missed the intro, so I don't know if this is a male or female, juvenile or adult -- but I'm going to guess that it's a Red-Shouldered Hawk. I'll issue a confirmation or correction as soon as someone more knowledgeable comes along.
In the meantime, take in all the creatures at the ark, and have a great weekend!

UPDATE: the consensus is turning toward the bird being a juvenile Golden Eagle. See the comments for the discussion.

13 comments:

fletch said...

The feathers definitely look like a red-shouldered but not sure about the beak and talon color. Here's a pic of mine which I'm pretty sure is a juvenile red-shouldered. Notice the yellow on the beak and yellow talons. Maybe they turn white on adults.

alice said...

Hrmm... the eye on that one looks all black and my bird has a black pupil on a yellow iris... and you're right about the beak -- my bird has an awfully big beak. I think maybe it's not the hawk afterall. The problem is, I flipped all through the raptor pictures in my Sibley's Guide, and I couldn't find any bird that really satisfied me for an ID... I'm stumped.

joe public said...

I noticed the mighty big beak as well. There are not a lot of hawks that have that kind of chomper, even the Red-tailed.



Consider me stumped right along with ya.

alice said...

Maybe the beak seems big because the bird is a juvenile...

fletch said...

I'm beginning to think it's a juvenile golden eagle. Hawks of every flavor have some yellow in the beak. That is an eagle's head and eye. Let me drink a few more beers and I'll be certain.

alice said...

I think you might be on to something there: Golden Eagle. The beak is very similar.



... and I think I'll join you in drinking a beer while contemplating raptors on this beautiful fall evening. Sláinte!

joe public said...

Golden Eagle is what I was going to say! I was just too "chicken." Are we nearing consensus? (I am, after all, drinking a beer.)



Thus emboldened, I will pronounce this a juvenile Golden Eagle. Its face told me this from the very beginning, but I didn't want to seem like an idiot.

alice said...

The more beer I drink the more I'm sure that the bird in the picture has the head of an eagle. It's sounding like a consensus!

Widdy said...

Most of the golden eagles around here, are a little darker brown. Plus, there are little feathers that grow well down the leg, sort of like the bloomers of the early Victorian era (think "Pride and Predjudice").

alice said...

Widdy! Long time no see!!!!



It's great to have you come around! I would imagine that you're busy gearing up for the seasonal fun once again?



So, if you don't think it's the golden eagle, do you have any guesses as to what it might be?



<hug!>

sravana said...

Widdy? Wow, I check in and look who's here. (I'm indigocoatl from a.a... from a while back)



I'm thinking it might be a juvenile BALD eagle.



Mature golden eagles and juvenile bald eagles can look similar from a distance. They can be distinguished by the following features:



* Golden eagles are feathered down their entire leg. Juvenile bald eagles do not have fully feathered legs until they are three years old. At this age, they are also starting to develop the white head and tail feathers.

sravana said...

More on juvenile bald eagles:

Juveniles look quite different from adults, and are sometimes mistaken for Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) at first glance. However, Golden Eagles are slightly larger than Bald Eagles and have brownish feathering all over their bodies. Juvenile Bald Eagles are more similar to the Golden Eagles as they have both brown and white feathers covering their bodies and have a black bill. Bald Eagles reach maturity at four or five years of age, at which time the plumage changes to a blackish-brown back and breast, white head, neck and tail, yellow legs, and a yellow bill.



then there's this: http://www.alaskanalpinetreks.com/ImageGallery/Eagles_2/JuvenileLanding.html



Now I'm thinking that the beak isn't outlandish enough to be a bald eagle.

bal said...

i would say its a juvie red tail hawk..

judging by the beak color and the chest feathering? thats what it looks like to me, we have a lot of em around here..

but definetly think its too heavy bodied and thick legged for the red shoulder..