Date: 9/29/18 8:25 pm
From: Lewis Crowell <ltcjac...>
Subject: (Very) probable Golden Eagle Clarion County
    Of all the birds I want to see, a close look
at a  Golden Eagle is on the top of my list  Hence
today's experience deep in the oak woodlands of
Clarion County was even more ironic
   My wife (a non-birder) and I were walking
along a service road in SGL 63 (near
Shippenville),  and  spotted an unusually large
Red-tailed hawk  fly off from a tree stump.  
Further down the trail  my wife was frantically
pointing to another hawk.  As I was too 
preoccupied chasing  warblers, I  dismissed it as
"probably another Red-tail"  and didn't even look
to where she was pointing. BIG mistake.
    When I asked for her description, she said it
was a huge dark brown "hawk" that dwarfed the 
Red-Tail we saw
earlier.  No markings on it except a white band on
the tail. Unlike the Red-Tail, she said it had no
dihedral but a conspicuously  flat winged profile.
    After hearing this description, followed by
her confirming what she saw in the book "Hawks
From Every  Angle", I realized that ignoring her
cost me dearly   I contend  she had a killer look
at an immature Golden Eagle.
      This raptor  was perched VERY close to her
before it lazily flew off, permitting excellent
side and top views. She said It had a clean, dark
brown color throughout, except for the neatly
defined white band on the tail. Despite the flat
wings, it is doubtful that this was a Bald Eagle,
due to habitat, what she described, and that
Goldens often  can look quite flat winged to an
inexperienced/non birder. She didn't mention any
"golden color on the head/neck, but often this is
hard to see in an immature, especially if you
aren't looking for it.
      And she is a non birder!  Unlike Bald Eagle
habitat, this individual was seen in a rich,
mature forest of Red Oak, Scarlet Oak, Shingle
Oak, White Oak, Hickories. White Pine Pitch Pine
and others.
       Of course I may be all wrong, which is why
I would appreciate any comments as to what else
this "hawk" could be.
Lewis and Jennifer Crowell
East Aurora, NY 14052
 
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