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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hawk Watch Continues

If you still have not made it out to Bucktoe Creek Preserve for the 2013 Hawk Watch, I suggest you spend an upcoming Saturday or Sunday with birder extraordinaire, Larry Lewis, as he scans the skies for raptors (and whatever other birds may show themselves).   Two Golden Eagles were spotted during Saturday's Hawk Watch, and most migration counts across the flyway are starting to see higher numbers of these magnificent birds. 

Golden Eagles migrate through our area in the winter months, and while they are not nationally an uncommon bird, they do not frequent Chester County except during the winter months. Golden Eagles are larger than their also awe-inspiring cousin, the Bald Eagle.  An immature Bald Eagle looks fairly similar to a Golden Eagle in coloration, one of the best ways to distinguish the two species is that our Bald Eagles have much larger heads and a more massive beak.  As a Bald Eagle nears maturity its beak turns a bright yellow whereas a mature Golden Eagle will have a smaller more grayish beak.  Mature Golden Eagles feature a golden nape, and an overall brown mottled color with little white.  The Juvenile Golden Eagle will have white patches under the wings, and at the base of the tail.  Spotting either eagle makes for an exciting day at Hawk Watch, and spotting both is something to write home about! 

Immature Bald Eagle
Golden Eagle
Notice the difference in eye color between the two photographs--and the size of the head and beak.  These are probably the most distinguishing features between the two birds.  

In addition to seeing some great birds, you will also get great identification tips.  Pack a lunch and stay for the day, or show up any Saturday or Sunday between 9 and 3pm to watch the skies.  More information is available at:

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