Golden Eagles at a Distance

Golden Eagles are large-bodied, have long and broad wings, lengthy “hands” (primaries), and have a proportionally small head and long tail. These features, combined, produce a subtle yet unique ‘signature’ in the sky. Note the bulge to the secondaries, creating a “lobed” look to the trailing edge of its wings; the slight pinch in width near the sides of the body accentuates the lobed look (see how this particular feature shows through in both the long and mid-distance shots below). In favorable light, the golden hackles shine through quite nicely, lending to a pale-headed look at a moderate distance and a near-headless look at great distances (see this effect by viewing the small crop at left before clicking to enlarge the photo).

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Photo: Golden Eagle. Pakenham, Lanark County, Ontario. 26 December 2014.