Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
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Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
Aquila chrysaetos
Hawk-like Birds | Family: Hawks and Eagles, Accipitridae

An estimated 46% of the species' North American breeding range lies within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

Common in much of the West, these majestic eagles prey mainly on jackrabbits and large rodents but will also feed on carrion. In some parts of their range Golden Eagles are not migratory but remain in their territories all year. The Golden Eagle has probably never been numerous in eastern North America; after long persecution, only a very few breeding pairs now survive. In recent years a few nests have been found, and some have produced young, but it is unlikely that the species will ever be more than a rarity in the eastern part of its range.

Description

30-41" (76-104 cm). W. 6' 6" (2 m). A large, all-dark eagle with a pale golden nape. Bill smaller and darker than that of Bald Eagle. In young birds, tail white at base, black at tip; white patches on undersides of wings.

Voice

A high-pitched kee-kee-kee; also a high scream or squeal, but usually silent.

Nesting

1-4 whitish eggs, unmarked or lightly speckled with dark brown, in a large mass of sticks placed on a rocky ledge or in a tall tree.

Habitat

Mountain forests and open grasslands; some winter on salt marshes in the East, found in any habitat during migration.

Range/Migration

Breeds from Alaska east across northern Canada south to Mexico, Canadian prairie provinces, and Labrador. Winters in southern part of breeding range and in much of United States, except Southeast. Also in Eurasia.