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Golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos) fact sheet

Golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos) fact sheet

For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. Population justification The global population is estimated to number approximatelyindividuals which equates tomature individuals Partners in Flight Science Committee The European population is estimated at 9, pairs, which equates to 18, mature individuals BirdLife International Precautionarily the population is placed in the bandmature individuals.

In Europe the population size is estimated to be increasing BirdLife International however given that the European population constitutes a small proportion of the global population the overall trend is considered stable. It is uncommon to scarce across its range. In general, the species is sedentary, with juveniles dispersing as far as km in their first few years.

In the Nearctic there are southwards movements to southern Alaska and southwest USA in September, via regular flyways, in particular through southwest Alberta. In the Palearctic, movements occur in a broad front to wintering areas in southeast Europe, the Russian steppes, Mongolia, northern China and Japan.

Habitat The species occupies a wide range of flat or mountainous, largely open habitats, often above the tree line, from sea level to m. In the Himalayas it has been recorded as high as m Watson, Prey taken are usually 0.

Breeding Site Nesting occurs on cliff ledges and where these are not available, in large trees or similar artificial structures. Nests are constructed from sticks and are added to in successive years, growing to 2m in diameter.

The breeding season spans March — August throughout the majority of its range, and in southern areas begins as early as November; whilst in the most northerly regions it will start as late as April Ferguson- Lees and Christie, The species was heavily persecuted in the 19 th Century, and although this threat has diminished significantly with populations now generally stable, the species is still deliberately poisoned, shot and trapped, and it is declining in Spain and North America Katzner, Smith, et al.

In the past the species was affected by the use of organochlorine pesticides although this is not a significant problem today. There are records of mortality as a result of electrocution when perching on power lines, but no data to suggest any substantial demographic impact.

Wind energy developments are a source of direct mortality for the species, particularly in California where wandering sub-adults are mostly affected Watson, In addition, afforestation, long term changes in food supply, including reduced livestock carrion through changing management practices and climate change, may threaten the species in future Watson, Data Zone.

Connect With Us. Text here!Subspecies: A. Watson Supposedly, the eagle mistook Pliny's bald head for a rock As eagle's often do, the raptor dropped a tortoise on Pliny to break apart the shell This unfortunate death had been foretold by a seer who claimed a house would fall on Aeschylus' head and a tortoise's shell is its "house" Eagles figured in Egyptian hieroglyphic writing Sagan Researchers studying the Rosetta stone realized the hieroglyph of an eagle translated as the letter "a" in Greek Ancient Greeks and Romans both viewed the golden eagle as a messenger of the gods.

Roman soldiers carried eagle emblems; campsites near eagle nests carried great significance Watson An ancient practice involves humans hunting with captive raptors, including golden eagles. Palmer Delaney Traditionally in Mongolia, an eagle rides on a wooden perch with a Kazakh hunter on horseback This is an tradition traced to nomadic tribes eventually conquered by Genghis Khan Formerly in Britain, only kings hunted with eagles.

Many native American tribes in U. Tail feathers of at least 5 juvenile golden eagles used in making one war bonnet for Plains tribes. Watson The U. Fish and Wildlife Service manages a national eagle repository for eagles found dead U. Contact Us Email the librarians at library sandiegozoo. Tags: birdeaglefact sheetfeathergoldennational birdraptorsan diego zoosdzgsky dancetalons.The golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed species of eagle.

Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their napes. Immature eagles of this species typically have white on the tail and often have white markings on the wings.

golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos) fact sheet

Golden eagles use their agility and speed combined with powerful feet and massive, sharp talons to snatch up a variety of prey, mainly haresrabbitsand marmots and other ground squirrels. They build large nests in cliffs and other high places to which they may return for several breeding years.

Most breeding activities take place in the spring; they are monogamous and may remain together for several years or possibly for life. Females lay up to four eggsand then incubate them for six weeks. Typically, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months. These juvenile golden eagles usually attain full independence in the fall, after which they wander widely until establishing a territory for themselves in four to five years. Once widespread across the Holarcticit has disappeared from many areas which are now more heavily populated by humans.

Despite being extirpated from or uncommon in some of its former range, the species is still widespread, being present in sizeable stretches of EurasiaNorth Americaand parts of North Africa.

golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos) fact sheet

It is the largest and least populous of the five species of true accipitrid to occur as a breeding species in both the Palearctic and the Nearctic. For centuries, this species has been one of the most highly regarded birds used in falconry. Due to its hunting prowess, the golden eagle is regarded with great mystic reverence in some ancient, tribal cultures. It is one of the most extensively studied species of raptor in the world in some parts of its range, such as the Western United States and the Western Palearctic.

Its wings are broad and the wingspan is 1. In the smallest subspecies, A. Large subspecies are the heaviest representatives of the genus Aquila and this species is on average the seventh-heaviest living eagle species.

The golden eagle is the second heaviest breeding eagle in North America, Europe and Africa and the fourth heaviest in Asia. Adults of both sexes have similar plumage and are primarily dark brown, with some grey on the inner wing and tail, and a paler, typically golden colour on the back of the crown and nape that gives the species its common name.

Juvenile golden eagles are similar to adults but tend to be darker, appearing black on the back especially in East Asia.Arent L. Raptors in captivity: guidelines for care and management. Washington: Hancock House Publishers.

Avery D, Watson RT. Regulation of lead-based ammunition around the world. Ingestion of spent lead ammunition: implications for wildlife and humans. Proceedings of a conference sponsored by the Peregrine Fund, Boise Idaho. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American birds.

Record mass for North American golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos canadensis. Journal of Raptor Research 42 2 Bedrosian B, Craighead D. Blood lead levels of bald and golden eagles sampled during and after hunting seasons in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Golden eagle

Breeding biology of the golden eagle in southwestern Idaho. Wilson Bulletin Bell C. In: Encyclopedia of the world's zoos. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. Bergo G. Territorial behaviour of golden eagles in western Norway. British Birds Birds of North America Online Golden eagle: Aquila chrysaetos.Image credit: Juan lacruz via Wikimedia Commons.

Public domain. Subspecies: A. Body Weight Male: 2. Habitat Open landscapes of mountains, plateaus and steppes. Sea level to high elevation. Generally absent from densely populated or agricultural areas. Other Designations Protected in the U. Locomotion Aerobatic flyer.

golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos) fact sheet

Glide and soar; able to make steep dives. Walk and hop. Social Groups Largely solitary, except for breeding birds. May roost or bathe in groups. Immature birds may associate with each other. Diet Carrion, medium-sized mammals mustelids, foxes, cats, young of large mammalsbirds, less often reptiles. Population Status update Minor update to taxonomy Sep Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings.

Questions and comments may be addressed to library sandiegozoo. Contact Us Email the librarians at library sandiegozoo. Tags: birdeaglefact sheetfeathergoldennational birdraptorsan diego zoosdzgsky dancetalons. Range Northern Hemisphere Habitat Open landscapes of mountains, plateaus and steppes.

Population in Wild Approximatelyworldwide. Activity Cycle Diurnal. Perch much of the day. Hunt, incubate, and build nests. Predators Humans; no natural predators. Sexual Maturity Typically years old Clutch size eggs Incubation period days Age at fledging Between 66 and 75 days. Longevity Wild: about 40 years Managed Care: about 50 years. Formerly occurred in the Appalachian mountains of eastern U. Adult females are larger than males Play behavior observed; often mock hunting or fighting Can swim, if necessary In winter and early spring, defend territories with undulating "sky dance" Sometimes hit by wind turbines.

Parents use their bodies to insulate chicks from extreme temperatures.This majestic "upland" eagle is aptly named for its golden-brown plumage, with head and nape feathers a slightly lighter, gold color. Measuring inches in length, the golden eagle has a wingspan of 78 inches and weighs pounds. Adults wield a bill which is a bit smaller and darker than that of our only other eagle, the bald eagle. The immature golden eagle in flight can be distinguished from the immature bald eagle by the presence of distinct white patches on the underside of the wing and by a broad white tail with a dark band.

The most notable field mark distinguishing the bald eagle from the golden eagle is the presence of extensive feathering on the legs of golden eagles. Should you be in a position to see it, the feathers go all the way down to the toes on a golden eagle, while the bald eagle has a considerable amount of exposed leg showing. Favored prey items include rodents, rabbits, birds, and reptiles, as well as carrion. The golden eagle is long-lived, with a life span in the wild believed to be 30 years or more.

It is also believed a pair mates for life and defends a selected territory against other golden eagles. Both the male and female participate in nest building, occasionally in a tree but more often on a cliff ledge, commonly with the protection of an overhanging tree or rock. The nest is made of large sticks and often contains aromatic leaves which may serve to deter insects. Since the same nest may be used and added to decorated year after year, they sometimes get quite large.

The single clutch consists of rarely 3 eggs which hatch after an incubation period of days. Eaglets fledge in days. The male provides some help with incubation, but is the major food provider during incubation and chick rearing. Young reach sexual maturity and obtain adult coloration at about 5 years of age.

The golden eagle is distributed worldwide throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Golden eagles are typically associated with the plains of the western United States, and are fairly common in our western states, Alaska, and Western Canada. Never abundant in the Eastern U.

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Fact Sheet: Summary

Golden eagles once nested at no more than a dozen or so sites in the Adirondacks of New York, in Maine, and in New Hampshire. They are believed to still nest in some numbers in Eastern Canada, as evidenced by hundreds of golden eagles appearing during the fall and spring migrations in the eastern U. Preferred habitats include generally open areas: tundra, grasslands and deserts. The golden eagle feeds primarily on live mammals such as ground squirrels and marmots, found in their preferred upland habitats.

In winter they will feed on carrion and waterfowl in the east, often associated with wintering bald eagles. Golden eagles have been protected in the United States since During the s, an estimated 20, eagles were destroyed by ranchers, particularly sheep farmers who perceived them to be a threat. In the northeastern states, remnant populations declined drastically. Although sightings occur every year in New York, most are during migration and no active nests are currently known. A nest was built in the winter of by a wintering pair in southeastern New York, but has never been used as the pair departs every spring to return the next fall.

The reasons for the decline of this species in the east are not clear. Various factors seem to be involved, including shooting, accidental trapping, human disturbance at nest sites, loss of essential open hunting habitat due to succession and fire control, and possibly pesticide contamination especially by DDT. DEC continues to monitor historic eyries large bird of prey nests in hopes that they may be used again and have been investigating the golden eagle's decline as well as the factors that may be involved in its breeding scarcity in New York.

Hacking leaves DEC websitea technique used successfully in New York to restore the bald eagle, has been considered for goldens, but has not been pursued due to the uncertainty of why golden eagles disappeared from New York and whether these conditions still remain. Hacking of goldens is being conducted in a few southeastern states during the s and at least one pair has nested in there in recent years.

Your browser does not support iFrames. Navigation menu.Open shrubland and grasslands of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and xeric grasslands are preferred by Golden Eagles. Typically nest on cliffs but also in trees such as cottonwood and green ash, or even on or near the ground.

Nests on cliffs generally face southerly. Nests will be reused by returning eagles or a new pair. Some are associated with black-tailed prairie dog towns. Primary prey includes ground squirrels and jackrabbits; however, eagles are opportunistic and other prey include turkey, coyote, antelope, porcupine, skunk, bighorn sheep lambs, great-horned owls, and waterfowl.

Eagles may be limited by the abundance of their primary prey, rabbits and ground squirrels. The effect of roads fragmenting the landscape, and oil and gas exploration, is unknown.

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Collisions with vehicles, power lines, or other structures, and electrocution are the leading human-induced causes of death. Collisions with wind turbines is of increasing concern. Pesticides or contaminants are a threat when eagles consume poisoned prey. Golden Eagles are occasionally exposed to lead, possibly from consuming non-waterfowl prey. Human activity such as recreational viewing, research activities, noise, agricultural or energy development activities, or the mere presence of humans may agitate nesting eagles if the disturbance is close less than ft.

This may result in eagles being inadvertently flushed from the nest for extended periods of time and could result in the death of the young or nest abandonment. Continue to maintain a list and spatial database of known Golden Eagle nest sites.

A nest site spatial database has been developed and is being used to minimize impacts to nesting eagles. Note: A listing of works consulted when compiling the information on this page may be found in the State Wildlife Action Plan. Return to North Dakota Raptors. Lands Hunter Resources Landowner Programs. Website Policy Help.

Onboard a golden eagle soaring over snowy Scotland

Golden Eagle. Dark brown overall, feathered legs, brown eyes, and black beak. The head turns golden as an adult. Status Both year-round and migratory. Peak breeding season early April to July.


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