Golden Eagles 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 a favourable light, the golden hackles shine through quite nicely, lending to a pale-headed look at a moderate distance and a near-headless appearance at a considerable distance (see this effect by viewing the small crop at left before clicking to enlarge the photo).
Photo: Golden Eagle. Pakenham, Lanark County, Ontario. 26 December 2014.