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Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle


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Golden Eagle Baby

Golden Eagle Habits

A large bird that hunts from the air, the golden eagle is most at home in wide open spaces. Today, although it can be found among the forests and wetlands of eastern Asia, Europe, and North America, it inhabits mountains and moors where there is little cover for its prey.
The golden eagle was once widespread throughout the Great Plains. Its numbers have declined due to persecution from hunters and farmers.
The eagle's habitat is now threatened as well. Reforestation is reducing the open areas over which the eagle hunts. Insecticides (DDT, dieldrin) have adversely affected the eagle's breeding success. Despite bans on these chemicals, poisoning remains the greatest threat to the eagles today.

Golden Eagle Communication

Golden eagles are mostly silent, except during the breeding season. They use nine different calls to communicate. Most calls appear communicate about food. Golden eagles don't use vocalizations to mark their territory. Instead, they mark the edges of their territory by flying around them.

Golden Eagle Breeding

Golden eagles usually build their nests, called aeries, on rocky ledges, cliffs or trees. In some places eagles have used the same rocky ledges for hundreds of years. Nests in trees are often reused and expanded every year.
When courting, the male flies quickly through the air, diving and soaring repeatedly. The first egg is usually laid in March.
Incubation begins before a second egg is laid, so the first chick hatches three or four days before the second. The second chick usually starves or is killed by the older chick.

Golden Eagle Food & Feeding

The golden eagle preys mainly on small animals, especially the mountain hare. It scavenges the remains of larger animals, such as deer. Other prey includes young foxes, mink, lizards, snakes, and game birds such as red grouse and ptarmigan.
Most prey is caught on the ground, but the golden eagle will catch some birds in midair. Its sharp eyesight enables it to see small prey from some distance away.

Golden Eagle Key Facts

              Height: Length: 30-35 inches. Wingspan: 6-7 feet
              Weight: 6-13 pounds
             Sexual maturity: 4-5 years
             Mating: March-July
             Gestation: 43-45 days
             Number of young: 1
            Habit: Solitary or paired, hunts for prey on the ground while soaring on thermals (hot air currents)
            Diet: Small mammals and birds caught alive or eaten as carrion
            Lifespan: 15-20 years



  • Golden eagles are thought to live for 15-20 years in the wild. Captive birds have been known to live for 40-45 years.
  • In forested areas of North America, the golden eagle's home range may cover as much as 200 square miles.
  • Golden eagles swoop down on their prey at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour.
  • In old England, only kings were allowed to hunt golden eagles.
  • Golden eagles spend the majority of their day hunting prey.

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