The Aquila Chrysaetos, also know as the Golden Eagle is one of the worlds largest, and most well known eagles. They are a majestic bird that can be seen patrolling the skies above the wide open space of the northern hemisphere. These wonderful birds have been intertwined with human history for centuries. They are revered by indigenous peoples around the world, and held with suspicion by pioneers and so deserve to be looked at as a common symbol between different nations.

Physical Characteristics

Golden eagles can vary in color from light brown to dark brown. Young eagles will have patches of white under their wing joint and a white stripe on their tail. As they age the white will gradually disappear. The feathers on the back of the head and neck will have a golden hue, and this is where they get the common name golden eagle. They are a booted species, which means that feathers grow all the way down their legs.

Like most raptors the female is quite a bit larger than the male, up to 1/3 as much. So their size range can vary from 7-14 lbs and have a wing span between 6ft and 7.5ft. The golden eagles body length can be from 27in to 33in

Distribution & Habitat

Golden eagles are the most widely distributed of the eagles, they exist on all continents in the northern hemisphere, but do to habitat loss and killing by humans the largest populations exist in North American. The eagle’s preferred habitat is in hilly our mountainous terrain, but they sometimes live in forested areas. Golden Eagles have a large territory, with multiple nest sites, but they only patrol the territory that is in the vicinity of the nest that is being use at the time. When and Eagles nesting territory is in the for north they will migrate to lower latitudes for the winter, but return during breading season. The Eagles that nest in the lower latitude stay in the area year round.


Golden Eagles will pair up after they reach adulthood at five years old. They are monogamous and it is believed that they say together for life. After refurbishing their nest, which is called and eyrie, they will lay around two eggs, but only one chick will make it to adolescence.

Golden Eagles will alternate between their nests yearly. Over the years of reuse the nest can grow to an average size of 6 ft wide and 3 ft high.

Eating habits

Golden eagles are strictly carnivores. Though they are capable of taking down medium sized mammals like young deer, and even wolves their usual prey are the smaller mammals such as rabbits, and rodents.

When catching prey the Golden Eagle will use its long talons to pierce vital organs, or crush the scull of its smaller prey. The beak is not used as a weapon.

Intersting Information

A Golden Eagle head is on the Romainian 500,000 lei banknote

The Golden eagle is the eagle on the Mexican flag

They can dive at speeds of 150 mph

A Golden Eagles can see a rabbit from 2 miles away.

They prefer to attack upwind, because it allows them to increase their speed and maneuverability.