Golden Eagle

Aquila chrysaetos

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

GOEA

Code 6

AQUCHR

ITIS

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Breeding Location:

Open landscapes, Mountains



Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Solitary nester



Breeding Population:

Common in West, rare in East.



Egg Color:

White or creamy buff with red brown markings



Number of Eggs:

2



Incubation Days:

41 - 45



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Material:

Lined with fine material., 8 to 10 feet across and 3 to 4 feet deep.



Migration:

Some migrate



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General

Golden Eagle: Large raptor with dark brown body and golden-brown feathers on back of head and nape. Eyes and bill are dark. Legs are completely feathered. Female is noticeably larger than male. Juvenile has large white tail patch with black terminal band.

Range and Habitat

Golden Eagle: Occurs worldwide. In North America, it breeds from Alaska eastward across the Canadian arctic to northern Labrador, but is absent from most of Keewatin and the Arctic Archipelago. In the west, it occurs south to Baja and northern Mexico; including all of the western U.S. Habitats include mountainous areas, canyons, shrub lands, and grasslands.

Breeding and Nesting

Golden Eagle: Two red brown marked, white to creamy buff eggs are laid in a nest made of large sticks, lined with rootlets, eucalyptus leaves, moss, rabbit fur, twigs, yucca roots, and dried grass, and built on a cliff face, dirt bank, on the ground, on man-made structures, or in a deciduous or conifer tree. Incubation ranges from 41 to 45 days and is mostly carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Golden Eagle: Diet consists primarily of small mammals such as rabbits and hares; also eats birds, reptiles, and carrion. A pair often hunts together; one chases prey to exhaustion, and the other swoops down for the kill. Dives at speeds estimated from 150-200 mph; can carry up to 8 pounds in flight.

Vocalization

Golden Eagle: Makes a yelping bark around the nest. Also yelps or mews during soaring courtship flight.

Similar Species

Golden Eagle: Juvenile Bald Eagle has a shorter tail and mottled white patches on underparts.

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NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Terminal bandX
Refers to the contrasting stripe at the tip of the tail.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X