The Golden Eagle
A Golden Eagle is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Golden Eagles. We have also put together a list of fun Golden Eagle t-shirts, Golden Eagle bird patches, bird houses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers and other fun bird watching items.
About Golden Eagles
Golden Eagles are one of the fastest and largest birds of prey with a powerful beak and razor-sharp talons to tear flesh from bone. It is common in North America flying high with steady wings and precise diving skills in pursuit of its prey.
Description and Identification
Golden Eagles are large raptors, 26-40 inches in length, and their wingspan is 78 inches. These birds are very large, broad-winged, and broad-tail hawk. Adult Golden Eagles are dark brown and have golden feathering on the nape. The plumages of the adult and young birds are almost entirely dark brown, but the adults don’t have white colour in underwing coverts. The adult birds have two pale brown median tail bands, and young birds have a white tail with broad, crisp, and dark terminal band. The plumage of birds gradually darkens to resemble that of an adult, with white colour in wings disappearing.
Golden Eagle Color Pattern
They gloat of a dark brown color and a lighter brown color on the back of its neck. They have a golden color on the back of their crown and neck giving them their distinct name.
Golden Eagle Size
In flight, the head seems relatively small compared to its long tail which seems to project further behind. Males and females have a relative size of:
- Length 70 – 84 cm
- Weight 3000 – 6125 g
- Wingspan 185 – 220 cm
Golden Eagle Behavior
They are known for their shocking speed and ability to maneuver despite their great size. The fastest dive recorded has been at 200 miles per hour. Males court the females by making 20 steep dives and upward movements beating its wings with each rise. Eagles being predators don’t seem like a playful bunch but they have an aerial play with sticks and also with dead prey where they drop them from very high heights.
What Golden Eagles Eat and Their Food
Golden Eagles usually hunt during daylight hours and use their speed and sharp talons to snatch up rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. The eagles eat birds, mostly game birds such as grouse and also some snakes, carrion, lizards, dead fish, and large snakes. Golden Eagles may also eat smaller rodents or larger animals, such as young pronghorns, young deer, or foxes. A fully grown Golden Eagle requires about 230-250g of food per day, and they have been known to go without food for up to a week.
These birds of prey mainly feed on small and medium-sized animals with the black-tailed jackrabbits topping the pile. They are also capable of eating other birds such as swans and even cranes. With their sharp talons, they also good at fishing and sometimes scavenge off dead animals falling into the class of scavengers.
Where Golden Eagles Live and Their Habitat
Golden Eagles prefer partially or completely open country, especially around hills, cliffs, and mountains. These birds are best suited to hunting in open or semi-open areas and search them out throughout the year. In the north and west, Golden Eagles use a variety of habitats ranging from the Arctic to deserts, including shrublands, grasslands, coniferous forests, farmlands, tundra, and areas along streams and rivers. In the forested eastern North America, Golden Eagles often hunt over marshes or along rivers. These birds are found mostly in the western half of the U.S., and they are rare in eastern states.
They are found in the open countryside of the Northern Hemisphere avoiding populated areas and uninterrupted forest fields. They nest on high cliffs in the grasslands and other vegetated areas.
Range and Migration
Golden Eagles are one of the best-known birds of prey in the Nothern Hemisphere. This magnificent bird is widespread in the country of North America, Europe, and Asia. Golden Eagles are North America’s largest bird of prey, and it is the national bird of Mexico. These birds are short-to-medium distance migrants. Northern breeders in Alaska and Canada migrate up to thousands of miles to wintering grounds, while southern pairs tend to be residents year-round. In the western United States and southwestern Canada, where adults may be permanent residents, young adults migrate south in fall.
Golden Eagles usually nest on cliffs, and their nests may also be built in trees, on the ground, or in human-made structures, including observation towers, nesting platforms, windmills, and electrical transmission towers. Both the sexes build huge nests together to which they may return for several breeding years. They usually mate for life, and a breeding pair is formed in a courtship display. Before egg-laying, Golden Eagles build a nest of sticks and vegetation, sometimes including bones, antlers, and human-made objects. Females lay from one to four eggs, and both the parents incubate for about 40-45 days. Typically, one or two younger ones survive to fledge in about three months.
Golden Eagles Life Cycle
Under natural conditions, the average golden eagle has a long life. The longest recorded living golden eagle is 32 years old. Golden eagles form long life pairs building several nests also known as eyries in their territory and alternate them over the years. Mating occurs before 40-46 days before the eggs are laid it takes up to 37 hours before the eaglet is free from its eggshell. 81 days after hatching, the young one jumps out of the nest using short wing beats to glide.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Golden Eagles
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Golden Eagles are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Golden Eagle T-shirts
If you love the Golden Eagle you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Golden Eagle Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron on patches. Our bird watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen an identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Golden Eagle is a great iron on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Golden Eagle Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Golden Eagle. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders For Golden Eagles
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird House for Golden Eagles
There are many types of bird houses. Building a bird house is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 bird houses have become our favorites. Getting a bird house for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these bird houses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.