Eagles of Iowa
Eagles are essentially massive hawks that are often seen perched in the open or soaring on very long broad wings.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
- The most common eagle in Iowa. As an adult it is easily identifiable by the white head and tail, large yellow bill, and a 70″-90″ wingspan.
- Juveniles are mostly dark with blotchy white on its underwing and tail. They take 4-5 years to reach full adult plumage.
- They nest and overwinter in Iowa and are regularly found near rivers.
- Feed mainly on fish, carrion, and roadkill.
- For most, the nesting season begins in late February and March. If you see a nest, be sure not to disturb the birds and report the nest to the DNR.
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
- Most common in the bluff country of Northeastern Iowa, golden eagles can be found from November through March.
- Golden eagles are brown with a variable yellow to tawny brown wash over the back of the head and neck. Adults have a faintly banded tail. Their wingspan is 80″-88″.
- Immature bald eagles are frequently misidentified as golden eagles but the golden eagle juveniles have well defined white patches at the base of their primary feathers.
- It takes 4 years for adult plumage to be acquired.
For more information, go to: DNR CONTACT: