A very large, dark to medium-brown bird with a golden head and nape. Females are larger than males, though plumages are similar. The entire upperside of the adult bird is dark brown, underside a slightly paler brown, with a buffy color on the legs, which are feathered to the yellow feet. Irregular, indistinct dark gray bands on tail. Head is relatively smaller than that of a Bald Eagle; the eyes are hazel to dark brown; the beak is dark. It takes four years and several molts for these birds to reach maturity. Juvenile birds have broader wings and longer tails than adults as well as plumage differences, including patterns of whitish areas on the feathers, and a tail pattern of a distinctive broad white band and terminal black band. In flight, the wingbeats are strong, slow, shallow, and smooth. Golden Eagles soar in a slight dihedral, glide with wingtips up, and can dive on prey at speeds up to 200 mph.
Meet our resident Golden Eagles: