Differentiating between a golden eagle and an immature bald eagle can be challenging. But sharp-eyed observers can tell the differences in the wings.
The underside of an immature bald eagle wing has mottled white patterns that extend just to the wing pits. The immature golden has distinct white patches at mid-wing, while the adult has dark undersides.
The golden's head and beak are noticeably smaller than the bald's and protrudes about one-third as much from the body as the tail does. The bald eagle's larger head and neck extends a similar distance as the tail.
Find more about golden eagles in Iowa in the January/February 2016 issue of Iowa Outdoors magazine, and more about Iowa's birds on our Iowa Wildlife board on Pinterest.
Golden eagle on left, immature bald eagle on right.