Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle is one of the largest raptors found in North America. Adults are dark brown with a golden sheen on their feathers. Juveniles have neatly defined white patches of feathers on their tail and on the base of their tail.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Aquila chrysaetos
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
15-30 Years
SIZE
33-38 ” | 6-15 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Non-Game
GAME TYPE
None
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Golden Eagles are found throughout Nevada. They prefer open country and hilly and mountainous areas. They can be found in a variety of habitats including deserts, tundra, shrublands, forests, farmland, wetlands, riparian areas, and grasslands.

  • Barren Lands
  • Cliffs and Canyons
  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush

Threats

  • Habitat Loss
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Urban Development

Natural History

Golden Eagles are monogamous and may remain with their mate for several years or possibly for life. Pairs maintain territories that may be as large as 60 square miles. Within these territories they will build huge nests to which they may return to year after year. They prefer cliffs as a location to build their nests but have been known to use man-made structures like electric towers and windmills.
The female eagle will lay 1-4 eggs and is also responsible for the majority of incubation. The eggs hatch after about 40 days. After hatching both the male and female, assist with caring for the hatchlings. At about 10 weeks the chicks will start flying, but they will not be independent from their parents for several more weeks.
Golden Eagles are incredibly agile in flight for how large they are. In a dive, they can reach 200 mph. Their flight abilities make them efficient predators. They use their large talons to catch their prey consisting of mostly small mammals like marmots, squirrels, hares, and rabbits. They are also known to catch much larger prey like badgers, deer, coyotes, and cranes.

Resources

Fun Facts

The Golden Eagle is the most widely used official national bird with Mexico, Austria, Germany, Kazakhstan, and Albania using it as their national bird. Golden Eagles have feathers that go all the way down to their toes. Only two other hawks in North America have feathers extending to their toes.