GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)

The Golden eagle is a formidable bird of prey with a wide distribution range mainly in the northern hemisphere. It is currently not considered as threatened. It has cultural importance in many countries, where it is symbolized in the coat of arms and is the national bird. In the United States, many First Nations highly value the golden eagle, and use their feathers for headdresses, for example, in traditional religious ceremonies. The golden eagle is used in falconry in some northern Asian countries for hunting foxes. The golden eagle is legally protected in the United States, but some birds are still illegally killed, sometimes because they may prey on livestock.

The ‘golden’ eagle is actually mainly brown with dark gold plumage on their nape (back of the neck). It is almost one meter (36 in.) long and has an average wingspan of about 2 meters (7 ft). Its powerful leg muscles and talons allow the golden eagle to hold on securely to their prey once seized. The talons are known to exert a pressure of about 440 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is much more than a human hand.

The golden eagle does not breed on PEI and only accidental reports have been noted so far.

For more information on this majestic predator, please check this website.

Golden eagle - Captive raptor center, NC - photo by Dick Daniels
Golden eagle – Captive raptor center, NC – Dick Daniels