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Golden Eagle

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The golden eagle, also called (Aquila Chrysaetos) is a large bird that is most active during the day.

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Its range extends across the Holarctic region (a region that covers the Arctic and areas within the Northern Hemisphere like in Europe, North America, Northern Africa, and Northern Asia).

The golden eagle is one of the largest birds in North America. When it comes to national emblems of the world, The Golden eagle is the most popular (they are used as the national bird of Austria, Germany , Albania, Mexico, and Kazakhstan).

  • Wingspan: 1.8 – 2.3 m
  • Name: Golden Eagle           
  • Common Name(s): Golden eagle
  • Scientific Name: Aquila chrysaetos
  • Basic Animal Group: Bird
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Lifespan: 30 years                         
  • Weight: 7.9 to 14.5 pounds
  • Size: 2.5 to 3 feet tall, with a wingspan of between 6.2 to 7.4 feet
  • Habitat: Mexico via western North America down to Alaska with rare appearances in the east; Asia, Europe, and northern Africa.
  • Population: Global breeding population is 300,000

Description

Golden eagles are born with powerful talons and a strong hooked bill, with plumage that is mostly dark brown.

Adults Golden Eagle has a shiny, golden gathering of feathers on their crown, sides of their face, and their nape. They feature dark brown eyes and long wide wings; their tail is lighter, with a greyish-brown feather color bottom of their wings.

The Young golden eagles feature white patches located at the base of their tail as well as on their wings.

Looking at the profile of golden eagles, you would discover that the head appears relatively small while the tail looks quite long and broad.

Their legs are covered in full length with feathers, all the way to their toes. Golden eagles either tend to be a solitary bird, but most times they have been found to move in pairs.

Habitat and Distribution

Golden Eagle

Golden eagles are found in a wide range of habitat that spans across the Northern Hemisphere and also North America, Europe, Northern Asia, and the Northern parts of Africa. The golden eagle is more common in the western parts of the United States, while they are rarely spotted on the eastern side of the country.

Their preference is usually that of opened or partially open habitats such as grasslands, tundra, woodlands, sparse, scrublands, and coniferous forests. Generally, Golden eagles inhabit mountainous regions up to twelve thousand feet in elevation.

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They also inhabit canyonlands, cliffs, and bluffs. These giant birds nest on cliffs and in rocky outcrops in grasslands, scrublands, and other similar habitats.

Some of the places that the golden eagle avoids are urban and suburban places, and they hate dense forests.

Golden eagles migrate short to medium distances. Those that breed in the far northerly regions of their range migrate further southward when it is winter than those that live in lower latitudes.

When the climates are milder by winter, golden eagles are residents year-round.

Diet and Behavior

Golden eagles usually feed on various mammal prey such as rabbits, hares, ground squirrels, marmots, pronghorn, coyotes, foxes, deer, mountain goats, and ibex.

The golden eagle capable of killing large animal prey but they usually feed on relatively small animals. When other prey is scarce, they eat reptiles, fish, birds, or carrion. When it is the breeding season, you can find pairs of golden eagles hunt cooperatively when pursuing agile prey such as jackrabbits.

Golden eagles are one of the most agile avian predators that can dive at impressive speeds (as much as 200 miles per hour). Their diving is not only during prey hunting, but they also dive in territorial and courtship displays as well as regular flight patterns.

A golden eagle pair can maintain a territory that can be as large as sixty square miles. They practice a type of monogamous lifestyle and usually remain with their patterns for several years and in most cases for life.

Reproduction and Offspring

Golden eagles usually construct nests out of sticks, vegetation, and other materials such as bones and antlers. They line their nests with softer materials like grasses, mosses, bark, or leaves.

The Golden eagles often maintain and can reuse their nests over the course of numerous years.  Their nests are mostly positioned on cliffs but can sometimes be built in trees, on high man-made structures, or on the ground.

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The nests are large and deep; sometimes, they are as deep as 6 feet wide and 2 feet high. The golden eagle usually lays between 1 and 3 eggs per clutch and eggs incubate for 45 days. After they hatch, youngs stay for the next for 81 days.

Conservation Status of the bald eagle

There are massive and stable groups of golden eagles in numerous locations around the globe, and thus the species earned the status of “Least Concern.”

A bulk of the reason why they thrive is the result of conservation projects geared towards protecting both the birds and where they live.

The golden eagle has been a federally protected species since 1962, and several international groups dedicate themselves to the welfare of golden eagles and eagles in general.

Bald Eagle or Golden Eagle

Young bald eagles look very similar to golden eagles. They have a similar size with almost the same wingspan. Also until bald eagles are about one year of age, they maintain the same brown feathers that cover their whole bodies.

Baby bald eagles also have mottled underbellies, but they do not shine the way that of the golden eagles do. However, it’s hard to spot these variations in a bird in flight.

A bald eagle starts to show its distinctive appearance in its area of white plumage after its first year of life. Because of this similarity, it’s common for people who love birds to assume they’ve sighted a golden eagle when what they’ve actually seen is a juvenile bald eagle.

Golden Eagle predator

Normal the healthy adult golden eagle does not have any predator; this is due to its efficient size, and its effective hunting skills. On thither hand, eggs, immature eagles or chicks, and injured golden eagles are susceptible to a lot of predators which most times include other birds, bears, wolves, and cougars.

Also read...

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