There were rumors of a Golden Eagle on Long Lake. Our suspicion is that it’s really this immature Bald Eagle, photographed here at the top of a dead red pine on the northern end of the lake.
Adult Bald Eagles wouldn’t be mistaken for Goldens. Adults aren’t bald, of course, but their white heads might look a bit like that at a distance. And they have distinctive white tails with dark brown bodies and wings. Immature birds, like this one, are mostly dark, with bodies and wings that are mottled with white.
It takes a Bald Eagle about five years to reach its mature plumage. This one looks a tad depressed that the process is taking so long.
Definitely no beauty yet. Maybe the juveniles being so pokey about getting impressive plumage is what made Benjamin Franklin want the wild turkey as our national symbol.