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Golden/Spanish Imperial Eagle, Central Spain (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I saw this bird far, always flying away from me, so I couldn't get a fair front view (impossible to see any white shoulders). The photo is a little bit crappy, result of finding no batteries inside the camera and getting a bit nervous trying to put one inside, after a very brief and far view with the binoculars.

In the field I didn't get in any moment the feeling of lightness that Goldens usually transmit to me, the tail seemed short and wings not pinched near the body. Also the very pale inner primary seen perhaps fit better SIE

The area is dominated by Goldens, and as far as I know there are no SIE adults around, but they are slowly and steadily colonising the area. In fact less than an hour after I saw a ¿2 cy? Imperial about 10 km from this eagle.

So although Golden is more possible I'm now a little bit more in the Spanish Imperial side (5-6 cy?) but would like to have another ideas. Is it possible to say more than Aquila sp?


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missing the neotropics
I don't know Imperial Eagle or Spanish Imperial Eagle, and I'm coming from experience with Golden Eagle in N America, but for me this bird looks short tailed for Golden Eagle. As well, it looks to be not quite adult with the shaggy underwing covert and body molt, but doesn't show any dark terminal band to the tail or pale base to the tail, which I would expect.

Agree that the pale patch in the inner primaries looks better for Spanish Imperial Eagle, though that just comes from field guides, not experience :)


I agree with your perfect description all pointing to SIE, surely an older immature which will become even darker on flight feathers (a fes are already as dark as in adults)

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