Bald Eagle second year over Meadowcreek in Bishop

Observers: Jim & Debby Parker
Date: 04/13/2008
Time: 01:05 PM -0400

Yesterday afternoon while out in backyard, we saw a raptor high in the sky and at first we thought maybe a Swainson's Hawk as the underwing coverts were white and the flight feathers black but the shape was wrong. This large raptor had massive wings that weren't narrow or pointed as in Swainson's Hawk and it had long primary tips jutting out from the end of the straight wings. There was white in the undertail too. Shape wise we knew it was an eagle and a Bald because of the huge amount of white in the underwing coverts. A young Golden Eagle would have much less white in a distinct pattern of two large patches, one on each underwing. The draft Inyo Graphbook notes that Bald's are rare now. Since this is a second year bird, one has to wonder about its wanderings so far south. The good news is that Bald Eagles are again nesting in s. California in very small numbers. Is this one coming back to where it was fledged last year?