golden eagle

34 Interesting Facts About Golden Eagles (Detailed)

In this article, we will share 34 interesting facts about Golden Eagles. We have included some great photos and details. If you enjoy learning about these amazing birds, then please read on! 


  • Identification: Golden Eagles are a very distinctive bird, and not difficult to identify. The Golden Eagle is mostly dark brown with some gray on the inside of the wing and tail, and a golden color on the back of the nape and crown. The bill has a dark tip, fading to a yellow cere. The feet are yellow. They have black eyes that look forward; their head seems small in comparison to their body size because it’s tucked into its shoulders. ​​​​​​​
  • Length: 28-33.5 in (71-85 cm)
  • Weight: 104-216 oz (6.6-13.5 lbs.)
  • Wingspan: 72.4-87.0 in (184-221 cm)
  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Aquila
  • Scientific Name: Aquila Chrysaetos
  • Range: Northern part of North America to Eurasia and Africa in the south.​​​​​​​
  • Habitat:  Live primarily in mountainous regions​​​​​​​, open areas near rivers, lakes or marshes​​​​​​​.
  • Diet: Small mammals, rabbits, and hares, but they also eat carrion as well as fish or other birds. ​​​​​​​
  • Worldwide Population: 120,000 individuals.​​​​​​​ North America Population: 50,000 individuals.
  • Conservation Status: Listed Least Concern (Population is stable).

They are the largest bird of prey in North America.

An adult Golden Eagle weighs an average of 10 pounds and has a wingspan of 6 to 7 feet. The females are larger than the males, with wing span ranging from 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 feet. They are the largest raptor species found in North America. This is a very large bird with a wingspan that frequently exceeds six feet.

They live in a variety of habitats.

Golden Eagles are found in a variety of habitats in North America. These areas include mountains, forests, deserts and grasslands. They can also be found on cliffs and rocky regions, as well as the outskirts of towns.

Golden Eagles nest
Photo by USFWS on Pixnio

Golden Eagles hunt by sight and by their keen sense of hearing.

Although they have excellent eyesight, Golden Eagles hunt by sight and by their keen sense of hearing. They can locate prey from a high perch above the ground and then swoop down swiftly to capture their prey with strong talons – killing it with a bite to the back of the neck.​​​​​​​

They are monogamous and mate for life.

Golden Eagles are monogamous and mate for life. They are very protective of a small territory that includes their nest and the surrounding area. They will attack other birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles and falcons that may intrude into their territory. Both parents take care of their young until they reach independence.

The Golden Eagle’s feathers cover the bird’s tarsus.

The golden eagle is one of two species of eagles that has feathers covering its tarsus (the other being Steller’s Sea Eagle). The presence of these feathered protectors provide the eagle with insulation from the cold and, in many cases, camouflage from prey. The feathers on the tarsus usually are brown-black, but may also be white or gray.

The Golden Eagle has a long life expectancy.

In the wild, golden eagles have been known to live up to 32 years old, but in captivity their lifespan has been recorded at 50 years old or more.

Golden Eagles nest in high places.

Golden Eagles are large birds that typically nest in high places. This is to protect their eggs and chicks from predators such as other eagles, hawks, coyotes, or bears.​​​​​​​ The golden eagle builds a stick nest which can be up to 6 feet wide with an inner lining of grasses and leaves for insulation. ​​​​​​​ They are very aggressive when protecting their eggs and chicks.​​​​​​​

They like to eat fish, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, foxes and other birds. 

Golden Eagles hunt for prey during day or night, often carrying their food with them back to a nest high up on a tree branch. This bird is opportunistic and will eat just about anything it can find including fish, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, foxes and other birds.​​​​​​​ These predators have talons that can be up to 3 inches long, which is helpful for catching their prey in the air or on the ground.​​​​​​​

Golden Eagles are a symbol of power and might.

The Golden Eagle is a powerful symbol of power and might. They are the most powerful birds in North America, with only the Bald Eagle being able to challenge them for that title.​​​​​​​ 

The United States military has had a tradition of using golden eagles as their symbol for over 100 years, starting with the National Guard in 1916, followed by the Army Air Corps in 1918, the Navy’s Chief Petty Officers in 1919, and finally all branches (Army Air Corps, Army, Marine Corps, Navy) in 1959. ​​​​​​​

These birds can reach 200 mph when diving on prey.

These majestic birds can reach speeds up to 200 mph when diving on prey. This makes them the fastest animals in the world. ​​​​​​​They will do this with their wings tucked in close to their body and pointed downward like an arrow flying through the sky. The rapid deceleration of air pressure as they near the ground helps them kill their prey with ease by breaking bones or rupturing​​​​​​​ organs.

Golden Eagles can fly at speeds of 80 mph.

Golden eagles are one of the fastest birds in level flight, and have been clocked at over 80 miles per hour while hunting prey. ​​​​​​​

They have incredible vision.

These birds have incredible vision – they can see four to eight times as far as humans! Golden eagles are majestic creatures that rule the sky. They soar high in the air, their eyes scanning for prey on the ground below. What’s more, golden eagles can spot a rabbit from an altitude of more than 3 miles away, and even tell if it is alive or dead. 

Their talons have over 900 lbs. of force per square inch!

Golden eagles have over 900 pounds of force per square inch at their talons! This is enough to tear apart the flesh and bone of a large animal. It is not just about the strength that golden eagles use in order to kill their prey, but also about how they do it.

Golden eagles are known for using a “clutch-and-pounce” hunting technique. They will grab hold of their prey with one claw while grabbing it with its other talon.

A group of Golden Eagles is called a “convocation”.

A group of Golden Eagles is called a “convocation”. A convocation is defined as an assembly or meeting. The word can also be used to describe the gathering of golden eagles in flight. This type of assemblage occurs when they come together for mating, and breeding season, which usually lasts from February through April.​​​​​​​

The chicks are called “eaglets” or “fledglings”​​​​​​​.

Golden Eagle chicks are called eaglets or fledglings. These eggs hatch after about 40-45 days of incubation, and they have a weight between 110-128 grams (about 4 oz.). The female lays one to four eggs at a time, and the male helps with nesting duties by bringing food for the female while she is sitting on the nest.

Once the chicks hatch, they are called eaglets or fledglings. When they’re born, they have downy feathers on their body to insulate them, and help keep them warm because of how high up they live.

A Golden Eaglet’s journey from nest to flight.

The most anticipated moment in a golden eaglet’s life is the day it leaves its nest and flies on its own. For 10 weeks, it has been receiving parental care from both parents, learning how to be an eagle while staying safe and warm in the nest. 

In this time, they grow about six inches tall and weigh about 5 pounds, a substantial size considering they are still developing feathers and talons. Now it’s time for the big event: fledging! Nestlings usually leave their nests at 9-10 weeks of age, but this can vary depending on local weather conditions or food availability. 

The heaviest recorded Golden Eagle weighed 17 lbs. (7.7 kg)

The heaviest recorded golden eagle on record weighed 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms). The bird was found in 2006 around Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. ​​​​​​​

Females are heavier than males!

Female Golden Eagles are heavier than males. They can weigh up to 7 pounds more than males, on average. This is because females require higher energy for egg production and carrying their young. ​​​​​​​

They can eat up to 2 pounds of food in one sitting!

One of the most impressive features about these creatures is their appetite, they eat 2 pounds of food in one sitting! The majority of what they consume is made up from small mammals such as rabbits, mice, squirrels and fish.

Golden Eagles will lay eggs from February to April.

Golden eagles have a breeding season that lasts from February to April, when female golden eagles lay eggs. This period is during the months when the females will not be too hungry and in order to protect their nest, which is typically at high altitudes on cliff ledges or in caves. ​​​​​​​During this time, the male will start hunting for food to feed the female and her hatchlings.​​​​​​​

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