Golden Eagle-The powerful and ferocious
Golden Eagle–This magnificent bird is widespread in the wilder country of North America, Europe, and Asia and Alaska to central regions of Mexico.
These birds are diurnal, being dynamic by day, and sleeping at night. They live for a lifespan of 30 years. The birds have a plumage of 7000, dark brown feathers and powerful claws. They have a strong, hooked bill. The Golden Eagle has golden feathers on its nape.
This powerful eagle is North America’s largest bird of prey and therefore the national bird of Mexico. They’re extremely swift and may dive upon their quarry at speeds of quite 150 miles per hour.
These magnificent birds range from Mexico through much of western North America as far north as Alaska; they also appear within the east but are uncommon. Golden eagles also are found in Asia, northern Africa, and Europe.
Habitat, Food, and Behaviour:
Golden eagles prefer tundra, grasslands, scrublands, and other open habitats.
Diet-wise, these birds of prey feast on rabbits, hares, ground squirrels, marmots, pronghorn, foxes, deer, mountain goats, ibex, jackrabbits, reptiles, fish, other birds, and carrion.
They construct their nests by using sticks, vegetation, grass, bark, mosses, leaves, bones, and antlers. The nests require several years of maintenance and position themselves on cliffs. Also, they have nests in trees, on the ground or in high man-made structures. The nests are deep, measuring 6ft in width and 2ft in height.
Golden eagles are diurnal, meaning they are active by day and sleep during the night. The eagles hunt in pairs, and they can also hunt by themselves. One eagle chases the prey, altering the evasion path of the prey. The eagle that chases the prey alters the path of the prey towards the other eagle waiting to capture the prey.
These beautiful birds only mate once in a lifetime, i.e., they are monogamous. They construct many nests and they travel from one nest to another. Golden eagles are monogamous, mate once in a lifetime. Golden Eagles lay their eggs between January and March and incubated during 41-45 days. The young fly at about 10 weeks old and after about 32-80 days after fledging, the chicks become independent.
Other interesting facts about the Golden Eagle:
As of 2019, the global population of the Golden Eagle species is stable. They are in the Least Concern (LC) category, meaning they are not facing the threat of extinction. There are about 300,000 birds or 200,000 mature individuals.
The Golden Eagles are the national birds of Albania, Austria, Mexico, Germany, and Kazakhstan. Golden Eagles are avian predators and they soar around 80 mph and can nosedive at 200mph.
They play a vital role in keeping the local ecosystem stable. Golden Eagles maintain stability in ecosystems by keeping prey populations in check. They even prey on other predatory birds such as white-tailed eagles and California Condor and compete with hawks and ravens over the habitat.
Threats to their existence:
Despite not facing extinction, there are threats to the Golden Eagle’s existence all over the world. Destruction of their environments, persecution, animal traps, poisoning, and commercial-based tree-planting are serious threats the Golden Eagles face to their existence.
All the above factors cause disruption to the Golden Eagle’s habitat, and if the aforementioned activities continue, unchecked, then the Golden Eagle could face extinction.