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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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The Bald Eagle in Oklahoma

Bald and Golden Eagles in Flight

When an eagle is seen flying overhead, look for these characteristics to distinguish between bald and golden eagles, young and adult birds.

GIF - Adult Bald Eagle

The adult bald eagle with its dark body and white head and tail, is an unmistakable bird.

GIF - Immature Bald Eagle

Immature bald eagles show a whiteline on the underwing coverts. The body is dark but usually has irregular white mottling in the feathers until close to adulthood.

GIF - Red-tailed Hawk

(Red-tailed hawk shown for size comparison.)

GIF - Immature Golden Eagle

Immature golden eagles have dark bodies with a white patch in the wing feathers and white at the base of the tail.

GIF - Adult Golden Eagle

The adult golden eagle is solid dark brown with a golden nape of the neck and faint bars in the tail.

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