Golden Eagle

Aquila chrysaetos
Golden Eagle specimens on display in the exhibit "Birds of D.C."

Golden eagles hunt in a range of ways; they may soar and search for prey from on high, or sit in a tree on the look-out. They have also been seen flying low and then ambushing their prey. Food items taken include a range of small mammals including hares, rabbits, young foxes and rodents, as well as gamebirds and carrion (2).  Pairs mate for life, and the huge nest (or 'eyrie') built in a tree or on a cliff-ledge will be used year after year providing it is not disturbed (2). Furthermore, these nests may be used by successive generations (6). Display flights occur during courtship in which the pair performs plunging and looping flights (6). Two eggs are laid following mating, and these are incubated for up to 45 days. The chicks fledge after 65-70 days. Golden eagles may live for as long as 32 years (6).

DC Information

Rare transient, usually seen over mountain ridges west of this region in March, September, and October. Sexes are similar.

Distribution Map

distribution map for this species

Bird Vocalization

Sound from xeno-canto. XC70431 Aquila chrysaetos (Golden Eagle)