Here Eileen is searching along ridge lines above and adjacent to goat prairies. Goat prairies are south facing slopes which are dry and generally treeless (except for red cedar) The pioneers named them goat prairies due to the steepness. Golden eagles like to soar above them which gives them an open shot at their prey which consists of small mammals and the occasional wild turkey. Apparently they like their meat fresh as they are not known to scavenge in this wooded country.
We clearly identified three Golden Eagles. One was mature and two first year goldens were sighted. All three were soaring. We also saw several eagles perched on the inner portions of trees but distance made a positive identification impossible. The mature was identified by its dark coloration and the somewhat dihedral arch of its wings while soaring. The youngsters were playing chase and tag above us and the underneath white tail and wing markings were very clear.The above picture is provided by the Eagle Center. You might note that the head of the Golden is much smaller than the tail. In Bald Eagles the head and tail are approxiametly equal in size. This, by the way, is my friend Angel the Bald Eagle. I just put this picture in here because I think she is so cool. :)
In addition, we counted 11 bald eagles (they are much more common than this along the Mississippi river), nine redtails, and two big flocks of wild turkeys and a herd of deer.
Another simple key to locating goldens is that if you see a flock of calm and reposed wild turkeys, it is unlikely a Golden Eagle is soaring nearby.On the other hand if they are fleeing in terror for cover, a Golden could be soaring above looking for a meal or Troutbirder might be driving down the road in their direction.