Golden Eagle,  Aquila chrysaetos

Golden Eagle was added to the LBRC Review List on 25 Apr 1986.
Number of accepted Golden Eagle records for Louisiana > 25 as of August 2017


Accepted Records

Two adults (1951-02) on 14 February 1951, Calcasieu: DeQuincy; LDWF personnel (LSUMZ 16693-16694).

One sex unknown (1973-05) on 13 February 1973, Concordia: near Ferriday; Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries (skeleton, LSUMZ 77760, ph: p. 6).

One immature (1986-30; formerly 89-68) on 26 Nov. 1986, Jefferson Davis: 6 mi. south of Welsh on Hwy. 99. The bird was found injured by William Evans, brought to LSUMNS, and then transferred to the Raptor Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. The bird was rehabilitated and released by Donna L. Dittmann, Mike Flynn, and other RRU staff on 1 May 1987 at Lacassine NWR. Photographs of the bird were published in the State Times, Morning Advocate Sunday Magazine, and television spots were carried in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.

One immature (1987-35; formerly 89-94) on 30 Dec. 1987, Tensas: Tensas River NWR, large open field (managed for waterfowl) at S end of parish; Robert B. Hamilton (AB 42(4):549,947).

One immature (1988-54; formerly 89-50) on 4 Oct. 1988, Cameron: Willow Island, 7 mi. E Cameron; Donna L. Dittmann & Steven W. Cardiff (AB 43(1): 117).

One immature (1991-34) on 5 Oct 1991, Cameron: East Jetty at mouth Calcasieu Pass; Joseph P. Kleiman; AB46(1):105.

One immature (1991-38) on 25 Oct. 1991, Jefferson Davis: Hwy. 99 about 5 mi. N of Hwy. 14 (just S of Bayou Chene); Gwen B. and Alfred E. Smalley, and Joseph Feldner (ph) (AB 46(1):104; LOS 147).

One immature (1992-17) on 8 Feb. 1992, Jefferson Davis: Hwy. 99 just S of Hwy. 380; John P. Sevenair (drawing) (AB 46(2):276).

One immature (1992-07) on 8 Feb 1992, Jefferson Davis: near intersection of Hwys. 99 and 14; Joseph P. Kleiman. This record and previously accepted records 91-38, 92-01, and 92-17 (Dittmann et al. 1998) may all pertain to a single individual present in this area during late 1991-early 1992.

One immature (92-01) on 16 Feb. 1992, Jefferson Davis: intersection of Hwy. 99 and Hwy. 1126, a few miles S of Welsh; Phillip A. Wallace (ph), and Curtis C. Sorrells (AB 46(2):276). Records 92-17 and 92-01 were about six miles apart but may pertain to the same individual; these records were reported as a single record spanning 8-16 Feb. in AB 46(2):276.

One immature (1993-04) on 13 Feb 1993, Rapides: 4 mi. N of Cheneyville; Roger J. Breedlove and Cecil C. Kersting.

One adult (1998-114) on 12 Dec 1998, Caddo: Port of Shreveport, Red River mile 213; Paul M. Dickson. This and LBRC record no. 1998-113 likely pertain to the same individual.

One immature (1993-88) on 7 Feb 1993, Cameron: 1 mi. S of Hwy. 717, near Shot’s Hunting Club turnoff [extreme NE corner of parish]; John P. Sevenair.

One immature (1993-89) on 23 Oct 1993, Cameron: Lacassine Pool, Lacassine NWR, then N to Calcasieu Par. line on Hwy. 14 between Lacassine Pool turnoff and the town of Hayes; Donna L. Dittmann and Steven W. Cardiff (ph; card only).

One immature male (1994-111) found injured sometime in Oct 1994, Calcasieu: just outside Lake Charles; Times Picayune (ph; Wed., 21 Dec 1994). The injured bird was found by a motorist and brought to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries officials, who transferred the eagle to Audubon Park Zoo Health Care Unit (New Orleans). The bird was successfully rehabilitated and reportedly released N of Lake Charles on 20 Dec 1994; LOS News 162: 3.

One subadult (1994-107) on 28 October 1994, Jefferson Davis: junction of Hwys. 99 and 380/382, south of Welsh and west of Thornwell; Donna L. Dittmann and Steven W. Cardiff.

Two adults (1998-06) on 24 Jan 1998, Calcasieu: junction of Hwy. 108 and Fabacher Road; Daniel F. Lane and Christopher C. Witt (ph only). A single adult on 3 Feb 1998, 1 mi. N of above location (Joseph P. Kleiman) was considered one of the two adults present in the area earlier. FN52(2):209 vaguely referred to “one report from one Louisiana parish.”

Photo and sketch by Dan Lane

One adult (1998-113) on 6 Nov 1998, Caddo: 2 mi. NW of Elm Grove, Red River mile 209; Paul M. Dickson.

One adult (1998-114) on 12 Dec 1998, Caddo: Port of Shreveport, Red River mile 213; Paul M. Dickson. This and LBRC record no. 1998-113 likely pertain to the same individual.

One immature (1998-122) on 29 Dec 1998, Cameron, Lacassine NWR, just NW of the [Streeter Road] entrance [NW of headquarters]; B. Mac Myers III. This and the following record, 98-126 possibly pertain to the same individual.

One immature (1998-126) on 29 Dec 1998, Cameron: Lacassine NWR, Coto Plot; Donna L. Dittmann and Steven W. Cardiff. This and 98-122 possibly pertain to the same individual. A general reference to the preceding two records ("quite a few reported from AR, LA, and MS") appeared in NAB 53(2): 174.

One immature (1999-115) on 17 Dec 1999, Jefferson Davis: first observed just E of Hwy. 382 on Mouton Road, NNE of Thornwell (DLD), then bird gradually moved SW and was observed N of Thornwell and W of Hwy. 382 (KVR), and finally seen SSW of Thornwell (by Darren Clark); Donna L. Dittmann, Kenneth V. Rosenberg (ph).

One adult (2000-42) on 9 Nov 2000, Caddo: 2 mi. NW Elm Grove, Red River mile 209; Paul M. Dickson.

One immature (2000-65) on 9 Dec 2000, Cameron: Lacassine NWR; Phillip Wallace (ph); NAB 55(2): 180.

One immature (2002-53) on 16 Nov 2002, Cameron: east of Rutherford Beach, along beach front; Daniel F. Lane (ph); NAB57(1):73 vaguely refers to one individual in Louisiana.

Two adults (male and female; 2004-24) on 24 January 2004, Morehouse: Mollicy Wildlife Management Area, Rosemary Seidler (ph) . Reportedly a stake out for the winter LOS meeting and also reportedly seen the 23rd; Refuge manager led all field trips right to it.

Photo by Rosemary Seidler

One (2011-01) on 3 January 2011, Pointe Coupee: Morganza; Javier G. Nevarez (ph on p. 7) fide Jennifer Coulson. Injured bird picked up by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel and delivered to the LSU School of Veterinary.

One immature (2011-03) on 1 March 2011, Union: Upper Ouachita NWR; Stephen Pagans (ph).

Photo by Stephen Pagans

One adult (2012-020) on 6 February 2012, Calcasieu: W of Illinois Plant Road between Hwy. 14 and Cameron Parish line; Donna L. Dittmann (ph) and Steven W. Cardiff.

Photo by Donna L. Dittmann

One adult (2013-095) on 28 December 2013, Morehouse: Upper Ouachita NWR, Mollicy Unit; John Dillon (ph) and Tim Keyes.

Photo by John Dillon

One immature (2015-016) on 2-28 February 2015, Morehouse: Upper Ouachita NWR, Mollicy Unit; Jeff Barnhill (ph). Although as many as four were reported, Members did not believe evidence provided with the report was adequate to support acceptance of more than one individual.

Photo by Jeff Barnhill

One immature (2015-005) on 4 February 2015, Morehouse: Upper Ouachita NWR, Mollicy Unit; Gypsy Hanks (ph taken by automated camera at bait station).

Photo by Gypsy Hanks

Photo by

Unaccepted Records

One or two (1988-87; formerly 90-67) on 3-4 Oct. 1988, Calcasieu: north end Calcasieu Lake. The description was considered too brief to support the identification of this species. More attention was given to weather conditions than to the actual description of the bird(s).

One (1989-150) on 10 Nov. 1989, Avoyelles: near Long's Lake. The description was very superficial. All members felt that Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was not eliminated from consideration because the observer described the chest as being a "dirty gray mottled color." This feature is commonly possessed by sub-adult Bald Eagles.

One immature (1989-31; formerly 90-31) on 10 Nov. 1989, LaSalle: White Hall Plantation, approximately 25 mi. from Catahoula Lake, 0.5 mi. from intersection of Hwys. 84 and 460. The bird was seen in flight from above by an observer in a small plane. The description, by an observer apparently familiar with Golden Eagle, although suggestive of this species, was inadequate to eliminate similar species.

One adult (1991-65) on 26 Oct 1991, Orleans: Bayou Sauvage NWR, 2 mi. S of Irish Bayou. Although most members believed that this bird might have been correctly identified, the details were considered too brief to warrant acceptance. The bird was apparently videotaped, but the observer reported that distinguishing features were not visible on the tape.

One adult (1992-77) on 2 Jan 1992, Tensas: Tensas River NWR, Spring Bayou. Most members believed that the bird was probably correctly identified, but the description did not include enough detail to decisively eliminate other superficially similar raptor species.

One adult (1992-16) on 5 Jan. 1992, Madison: Tensas River NWR, Spring Bayou (next to McLemore tract). The observer provided only a very brief description, and all Members were in agreement that the supporting details were insufficient to support the identification of this species.

One immature (1993-03) on 30 Jan 1993, Calcasieu: 20 mi. N of Lake Charles on Edgewood Road. This bird was reportedly seen by a number of observers, but only one submitted a report. The bird was distant, the observation brief, and the description was, not too surprisingly, relatively superficial. Members could not justify accepting this record based on the limited information provided.

One (1993-047) on 3 March 1993, East Feliciana: N of Clinton, W of Hwy. 67 (card only). Although the nape was described as golden and the raptor’s size as large, most Members did not consider the details provided on the card as adequate to support the identification.

One adult (1995-29) on 2 Jan 1995, Bossier-Caddo-Bienville CBC; NASFN49(2):156. The description provided did not eliminate an immature Bald Eagle.

One immature (1995-31) on 2 Jan 1995, Bossier: 0.7 mi. E of Poole. The Committee agreed that the description was too superficial to support identification of this species.

One immature (1998-038) on 10 and 27 January 1998, Rapides: 1.5 mi. N of Cheneyville, near intersection of Bayou Rd. and Echo-Cheneyville Rd. The description was suggestive but too superficial to decisively eliminate Bald Eagle.

One adult (1999-131) on 20 February 1999, Rapides: Echo-Cheneyville Rd. at Wemples Farm. This was a record submitted recently to eBird, flagged, then submitted to the LBRC for review. The record is solely based on observer’s memory ten years after the observation. However proficient the observer may be at raptor identification, the description did not eliminate Bald Eagle. We do appreciate that the observer took time to submit this record to the LBRC archives.

One immature (2014-105) on 27 December 2014, Morehouse: Upper Ouachita NWR, Mollicy unit (ph). The photos provided better supported identification as a Bald Eagle.