Description of the Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is mostly dark brownish in color with a golden nape, black bands in the tail that are visible in flight, and a relatively small head.
Seasonal change in appearance
Juveniles have a white base to the tail and white patches at the base of the flight feathers, both of which are evident in flight. Golden Eagles lose their juvenile appearance and attain their adult appearance over four years.
Golden Eagles inhabit mountains, plains, and foothills.
Golden Eagles eat small mammals.
Golden Eagles forage by soaring in search of prey, or by observing from a perch.
Golden Eagles are resident across much of the western U.S. and Canada, and also breed north through Alaska. They winter somewhat farther east than they breed. The population is declining slowly over much of its range.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Golden Eagle.
The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.
Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History
Mongolian falconers have long trained Golden Eagles to hunts foxes and even wolves.
As in many raptors, the female Golden Eagle is larger than the male.
The call consists of yelps.