[CT Birds] Golden Eagle sighting

Ryan Wirtes tachycineta at fastmail.com
Tue Jan 31 12:43:21 EST 2017


Thank you Paul and Nick for your input!  

I was there at the same time Charlie was, waiting for a sign of the
grosbeaks.  I was scanning the mountain in hopes of finding the local
raven when I spotted the eagle.  Usually bald eagles trigger an almost
immediate recognition with their wings so broad all the way to the body
and a prominent head.  This bird didn't have that effect and as I
continued watching I could see the relatively small head and beak, wings
that narrowed or pinched in towards the body and it was definitely
soaring with a slight dihedral (never flat).  When the bird turned it's
underside toward me I saw two white wing patches near the base of each
set of primaries. This was at a distance so the patches weren't glaring,
but the contrast was evident.  Not expecting to see a golden I made my
way over to Charlie who was watching the same bird.  I commented on what
I saw, checked with my field guide and we both watched the eagle to make
sure we had the correct ID as this was a great find.  We both agreed
that this was indeed a golden eagle.  I didn't see the grosbeaks but the
golden was a more than adequate replacement!  It's reassuring to know
that goldens have been seen at this exact spot before.  It was a totally
unexpected find for me.  I'm glad that Charlie was there to share the
experience with and help confirm the ID.

Incidentally, I was in Sharon on December 4th of last year watching the
Evening Grosbeaks (hadn't seen one since ~1988) and an immature Golden
Eagle flew over at relatively close range.  This was a lifer for me and
there were about 12 other birders who witnessed this.  Not a bad way to
end the year!

Ryan Wirtes
Bethlehem

On Tue, Jan 31, 2017, at 12:40 PM, Ryan Wirtes wrote:
> Thank you Paul and Nick for your input!  
> 
> I was there at the same time Charlie was, waiting for a sign of the
> grosbeaks.  I was scanning the mountain in hopes of finding the local
> raven when I spotted the eagle.  Usually bald eagles trigger an almost
> immediate recognition with their wings so broad all the way to the body
> and a prominent head.  This bird didn't have that effect and as I
> continued watching I could see the relatively small head and beak, wings
> that narrowed or pinched in towards the body and it was definitely
> soaring with a slight dihedral (never flat).  When the bird turned it's
> underside toward me I saw two white wing patches near the base of each
> set of primaries. This was at a distance so the patches weren't glaring,
> but the contrast was evident.  Not expecting to see a golden I made my
> way over to Charlie who was watching the same bird.  I commented on what
> I saw, checked with my field guide and we both watched the eagle to make
> sure we had the correct ID as this was a great find.  We both agreed
> that this was indeed a golden eagle.  I didn't see the grosbeaks but the
> golden was a more than adequate replacement!  It's reassuring to know
> that goldens have been seen at this exact spot before.  It was a totally
> unexpected find for me.  I'm glad that Charlie was there to share the
> experience with and help confirm the ID.
> 
> Incidentally, I was in Sharon on December 4th of last year watching the
> Evening Grosbeaks (hadn't seen one since ~1988) and an immature Golden
> Eagle flew over at relatively close range.  This was a lifer for me and
> there were about 12 other birders who witnessed this.  Not a bad way to
> end the year!
> 
> -- 
>   Ryan Wirtes - Bethlehem
> 
> On Mon, Jan 30, 2017, at 09:15 PM, Carrier Graphics via CTBirds wrote:
> > Hi Charlie
> > I bird the Canaan Mt areas a lot, and have done so for many years. In
> > those years I have seen Golden Eagles there three times, and two where on
> > Under Mt Rd. I always suspected they might nest there with 2 sightings
> > seen in May and August, both being immature birds. I never proved it, but
> > I still suspect it. Its the most perfect place in CT to suspect their
> > nesting. 
> > Paul Carrier - Harwinton
> > _______________________________________________
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