Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Image credit: © Juan lacruz via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain. Location: La Cañada, Ávila, Spain.
Family: Accipitridae (eagles and hawks)
Species: Aquila chrysaetos
- Aquila chrysaetos canadensis (only subspecies in North America)
- Aquila chrysaetos chrysaetos (Europe and Asia)
- Aquila chrysaetos kamtschatica (northeast Asia - a possible subspecies)
- Aquila chrysaetos homeyen (Spain, North Africa)
- Aquila chrysaetos daphanea (Iran to central China)
- Aquila chrysaetos japonica (Korea and Japan)
Male: 2.8-4.6 kg (6-10 lb)
Female: 3.6-6.7 kg (x-y lb)
75-90 cm (2.5-4 ft)
190-227 cm (6.2-7.5 ft)
Dark brown with pale yellow or tawny on back and head
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Open landscapes of mountains, plateaus and steppes. Sea level to high elevation. Generally absent from densely populated or agricultural areas.
Least Concern, version 3.1
Protected in the U.S. under The Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Population in Wild
Approximately 300,000, worldwide
Aerobatic flyer. Glide and soar; able to make steep dives. Walk and hop.
Diurnal. Perch much of the day. Hunt, incubate, and build nests.
Largely solitary, except for breeding birds. May roost or bathe in groups. Immature birds may associate with each other.
Carrion, medium-sized mammals (mustelids, foxes, cats, young of large mammals), birds, less often reptiles.
Humans; no natural predators.
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Typically 4-7 years old
Age at fledging
Between 66 and 75 days.
Wild: about 40 years
Captivity: about 50 years
- Is the national bird of Mexico, Albania, Germany, Austrian, and Kazakhstan.
- Formerly occurred in the Appalachian mountains of eastern U.S.
- 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
© 2011 San Diego Zoo Global. Population Status update 2016.
How to cite: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Fact Sheet, 2011. c2011-2016. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/goldeneagle.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
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San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.