Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos.|
The golden eagle is truely an impressive bird, with a wingspan averaging seven feet! The golden eagle is identified by it's brown coloring with variable golden wash over the back of it's head and neck; a beak that is horn colored; and a faintly banded tail. The brown heads and tails of mature golden eagles are easily confused with those of juvenile bald eagles, and can be distinguished by the yellow tinged bill of the bald eagle. The patterns of the golden eagle look more crisp than the mottled, blochy coloring of juvenile bald eagles. Eagles in flight may be confused with members of the vulture family; but where vultures fly with their wings in a slight v-shape, eagles fly with their wings flat and straight across, or only very slightly uplifted. Nesting on cliffs or in trees, golden eagles inhabit mountainous or hilly terrain, and hunt over open country for small mammals, snakes, birds and carion.
Adapted from National Geographic Society's Field Guide to Birds of North America, 2nd edition, 1987.
© 1994-1999 Tara Prindle.