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Golden or Bald?

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Our bird group spotted these two eagles a few days ago in Lincoln, CA. There are arguments as to whether they are gold or bald eagles. Posted on Facebook Birders page, it seems golden eagle wins the contest at six-to-one with some convincing arguments but, the local expert here and a few others are convinced they are immature balds. We would like to see what the folks on this forum think so that we may catalogue this sighting in our record book. Thanks.



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I suppose it's what makes bird watching so interesting with both sides presenting convincing arguments (Birders Facebook page presenting other opinions). Thanks for the input! I need to do some research. I wanted it to be golden eagles but can't let that get in the way of a decision.

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The bird featured prominently in the first photo looks like a Golden; I would say near-adult or older immature.  The rufous undertail coverts would be the clincher here for me. Young baldies also have their whitish mottling more concentrated at the wingpit area.

The perched bird is the same bird, or different?  It does show a really massive beak that looks almost a little weird. The eye color should be darker for a baldie that young and it looks like a yellowish cere, dark tail, tawny wingbars... I would still say Golden for this photo too. 

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I'm hoping for Bald.  Big bill, head + bill bigger in comparison to tail than Golden would have, pale mottling on the wing linings (immature Golden has white on the bases of some or all flight feathers), more pale on the tail than immature Golden would have (I think), no gold nape on the perched bird, and the tarsi look bare.

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