Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaëtos)
Golden: describes the plumage color on the back of the
head and neck.
Ring-tailed Eagle, Black Eagle, Mountain Eagle; Spanish – águila real.
Class: Aves; Order: Falconiformes; Family: Accipitridae
Key Identification Characters:
Large size; adult plumage dark brown with golden-buff colored feathers on crown and back of neck; tail entirely brown; immatures with variable amounts of white at base of tail and primary feathers; male and female similar. Length, 30"; wingspan, 79".
Europe, Asia, North Africa, North America southward to
Ground squirrels, rabbits, other medium-sized mammals, some birds, carrion when available.
Number of eggs/clutch: range 1–4; generally 2; egg: white with blotching, spotting, and speckling of light brown and clouded with shades of gray and lilac; 2.90" x 2.50"; nesting: tree and cliff nester with twigs and branches layed together in a large pile about 8' in diameter, lined with finer material like plant parts, rabbit fur, some mosses, eagle down (from young); nest often used year after year.
American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Check-list of North American birds, 6th ed. Allen Press, Lawrence, 877 pp.
Burton, P. 1983. Vanishing eagles. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 140 pp.
Fisher, J. and R.T. Peterson. 1977. World of birds. Crescent Books, New York, 191 pp.
Peterson, R.T. 1990. A field guide to western birds. Third ed., Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 432 pp.
Contributor: Scott M. Cutler, Curator of Collections and Exhibits; Curator of Ornithology