What Kind Of Bird Was THAT?!

My husband and I have a weekend routine of going down to the Des Moines Marina to watch the birds, people and the view of Vashon Island.

Here in the greater Seattle area we have a lot of bald eagles.  They are EVERYWHERE.  We never tire of seeing these great birds and there are always a few hanging around at the marina in the morning.

Last weekend we were watching two bald eagles.  One was approx 50 ft from us, on a light pole, the other approx 300 ft from us up on top of a 50 ft tree.

Out of nowhere comes this brown bird of prey that was GIGANTIC!  It flew directly over the car about 10 ft above and continued to soar right next to the eagle on the light post.  The eagle on the light post AND in the tree had white heads and tails indicative of adult bald eagles.

We thought this may be their baby, a juvenile, until it flew right by both of them and made them look like the size of crows. 

The only bird around bigger than a bald eagle is the Great Blue Heron.  We have a ton of these, and this was most definitely a bird of prey.  I could see it’s talons and yellow beak, the shape of the wings, and it’s mottled brown coloring.

We may have witnessed a golden eagle, but there were no white patches under the wings.  It just looked like a brown eagle that dwarfed the bald eagles in size.

Any thoughts?  I have been all over the internet and I have an Audubon guide.  I still can’t say for sure what I saw.

Please dear readers, if you know, I would like to know also.

We saw her/him on two occasions.  When “she” flew away she looked like a small plane!  She had scooped up a fish and some other birds chased her, as they will do, but she soared away with no problem.

I added a pic of a bald eagle, that pic looks EXACTLY like the one we were watching on the light post. 

The other pic is of an immature golden eagle.  I know there was no white visible, and I would have noticed because she came so close.Image

Thank you ahead of time! 

Em

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