In Delaware, it is possible to spot 2 different species of Eagles. These are:
- Bald Eagle
- Golden Eagle
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So tiny as to get lost among the industrial northeast, Delaware nevertheless sits right in the midst of coastal warmth and the crisp air of the north that birds seem to love.
Any list of eagles is approached with the grim understanding that the bird itself is rare.
The fact there are only two in Delaware is a reminder of how we almost lost so majestic a creature to the carelessness of industry.
Below we identify these two magnificent birds, and explain how, when, and where to watch them.
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What Eagles can be seen in Delaware?
1. Bald Eagle
This iconic American raptor is an infrequent visitor to the northeastern part of the country where Delaware is found, but more frequent than most places farther south.
Fortunately, Delaware was an active participant in initiatives that began throughout the U.S. decades ago to preserve bald eagles, and the result is a stabilized population that should grow as long as protected lands like their 34 nature preserves remain protected.
Bald eagles have one of the most distinctive appearances in the animal kingdom: a regal profile of a contrasting “bald” white crown and tail; a large dark brown body with an endless wingspan; and a bright yellow beak and feet with talons that were made for hunting.
Despite its revered status among the flying kingdom and its status as a true hunter, eagles are also carrion birds, often usurping other hunters’ efforts and flying off with their kills.
Else, they hunt whatever meat can be carried, from fish to rodents to young deer.
They are also made distinct by their nests, which can grow to gargantuan sizes a dozen times larger than the eagle itself.
These may appear as mounts of twigs and earth at the top of a tree, or next to a shielding boulder atop a mountain outcropping. Either way, eagles hunt like most raptors–spying prey from a perch and striking when ideal–except their lookouts are often much higher.
The “King of Birds” is an infrequent visitor to Delaware, but as one of only two eagles in the country, a sporadic presence is better than nothing.
These visitors are eastern migrations of hunters who tired of competing out west and sought their own. Like bald eagles, they hunt from high perches, often in mountains and create enormous nests over long periods of time.
Unlike bald eagles, a golden eagle usually eats only what it kills and has no interest in scavenging from another.
Their namesake is derived from the radiant golden feathers that blend into their crown and cape, which stand in sharp contrast to the dark browns of the rest of its body.
Golden eagles are about the same size as bald eagles with similar bright yellow legs and talons, but their beaks are a bit more hooked and have a black tip.
Their wingspans can exceed seven feet, placing them among the largest of any flying animal.
We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!