It is not too often in Connecticut that you get the chance to see a Golden Eagle, not to mention, to get an up close, great, long look. Today at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Connecticut, the first and oldest state park in Connecticut we had such an opportunity. This beauty is a Juvenile Golden Eagle. It had a golden-blonde nape and crown but was mostly dark brown overall. Juveniles show distinct white patches on the wings and at the base of the tail. They often soar with wings held up at a slight angle. Check out those yellow feet and talons!
The raptor had been perching in a tree for much of the morning apparently digesting the goose it ate earlier. In the early afternoon, it began to get restless and launched itself into the air and flew off to the north. It appeared to catch a thermal somewhere between I-95 and Rt. 1 and began gaining altitude, eventually it began a long glide to the south and we lost sight. This is a large raptor with long wings that bulge near the body.
Golden Eagles favor partially or completely open country, especially around mountains, hills, and cliffs. They use a variety of habitats ranging from arctic to desert, including tundra, shrublands, grasslands, coniferous forests, farmland, and areas along rivers and streams. Found mostly in the western half of the U.S. they occasionally delight an Eastern hawkwatcher and birdwatcher when they pass through in the fall on their way south.