There are four groups of eagles:
While eagles are placed in the buteos genus (like hawks) they have longer wings than hawks. The four eagles found in North America are the Bald Eagle, the Golden Eagle, the Steller's Sea Eagle, and the While-Tailed Eagle. The Bald Eagle (a Fish Eagle) and the Golden Eagle (a Booted Eagle) are the most common.
A common mistake is made when trying to distinguish between an immature Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle. A Bald Eagle does not get its white head and tail until it's about 4 or 5 years old, but one way the two can be distinguished is by the feathering on their legs. A Golden Eagle has feathers clear to where its toes begin, while a Bald Eagle has bald legs with yellow scales from about halfway down. Check out our Eagle ID page for some tips on distinguishing between the two.
This is a female Golden Eagle patient who was admitted to TRC's clinic due to lead poisoning and was released back into the wild in the spring of 2019!
This is TRC's resident female Bald Eagle, River. She is non-releasable due to a rate infection that affected her left carpal (wrist) joint. She now serves as an ambassador for her species.