Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Eagle - Knox County, Ohio

Photo: Joel & Valerie Moore

Yesterday, January 15th, Joel & Valerie Moore were taking an early afternoon stroll along the Kokosing Gap Trail in Knox County, when they glanced skyward and saw this massive beast. A juvenile Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos! Fortunately they were able to get the camera lens up in time to fire off this nice shot. Golden Eagles take five years to attain full adult plumage, and this bird looks like a first-year, given the amount of white in the tail and wings. Golden Eagles are always major rarities in Ohio, and winter reports are few and far between. This eagle may be overwintering, and refindable.

The Moores saw the bird about one mile east of Gambier, along the north side of the Kokosing River. The Kokosing Gap Trail parallels the north side of the river. They were near Killduff Road (County Rd. 230) when they saw the eagle, and this is probably the place to start searching.

Thanks to the Moores for sharing their sighting and photo, and best of luck to anyone who seeks the eagle. Let us know if you relocate it.


Bob Rafferty said...

Jim - thank you so much for your posting. We found the Eagle today at about 3:15 in a cornfield on Stull Rd near the intersection with Sapp Rd which is about 1/2 mi from the location reported on Sun. I posted some (poor quality) photos at my Flickr site This bird is awesome - it is impressive to see such a large bird winging through the woods. Also those big, yellow talons show up really well.

Jim McCormac said...

Hi Bob, glad you got up there to look for the Golden Eagle. Haven't heard of anyone else searching for it, and GE is a fabulous Ohio bird.

But there are a number of Bald Eagles in that area as well, and the subadults can be tricky to separate. I remember well an experience wheree an incoming juvenile Bald Eagle temporarily fooled a whole bunch of veteran birders! That said, the bird in your photos is a young Bald Eagle. The presence of young Balds makes the search for the Golden that much more complicated but you should keep seeking it if the chance arises.

Anonymous said...

I recently saw two golden eagles around my house here in Marion county. It was very exciting. I didn't realize sightings were so rare. I will keep my camera ready in case they come by again. They looked so mottled compared to bald eagles which I see on occasion.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard any more updates on the injured bald eagle found in knox county and taken to columbus?...I have been watching the 5 nests I know here in knox county to see if only one parent is concern being the health of the eagle and the eggs if it must leave the nest to hunt while the other parent is gone. If anyone notices only one parents presents please notify the ODNR asap...thanks!! *angie

Kathy Potter said...

I am not a bird expert, but that looks like a California condor to me. See all that white on bottom of wings? Great photo!!!

Kathy Potter said...

I am not a bird expert, but that looks like a California condor to me. See all that white on bottom of wings? Great photo!!! I have been watching the turkey vultures for years. They sail like glider airplanes. In Wilmington, Ohio we have the Ospreys, the white fish eagles.