Participants will develop an “eagle eye” for spotting bald eagles making a comeback on the North Fork through online webinars and workshops. Observations can be submitted below. It is important to properly ID eagles to differentiate from vultures and other birds of prey. Below is a guide to help identify Raptors from afar.
It takes five years for Bald Eagles to reach maturity. An adult bald eagle will have an all white head and tail. Apologies for some poor quality photographs, they were taken from a great distance and cropped, but all are North Fork Eagles taken this Spring.This is a five year old male in Peconic:
Second and third year sub-adults are difficult to age since they is a lot of variability in the white feather mottling. A sub-adult will show increasing yellow in the beak, and more white on the head and tail as they mature.
This one has nice photographs taking you through ages 1-5: https://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2013/01/27/a-guide-to-aging-bald-eagles/
This helps with silhouttes from below and from the front in flight: https://www.raptorresource.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Hawk_silhouettes2.jpg
Turkey Vulture vs Bald Eagle vs Osprey https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3320.htm
Bald Eagles vs Vultures: Bald Eagles hold their wings flat in flight and have slow wing beats. Turkey vultures hold their wings in a shallow V called a dihedral. https://marylandbirds.org/baldeaglesid
Silhouettes of Birds of Prey in Flight: http://fauconeduc.biz/documents/BOPSilhouettes_FEweb12.pdf
Hawkwatch: Bald Eagles