Golden eagle photo and description of the bird, size, message, characteristics

The large bird of prey, the golden eagle, belongs to the family of hawks and eagles. A striking shade of golden head and neck allows you to distinguish the golden eagle from relatives.

Appearance description

Golden eagles see much better than a person with perfect vision. Birds have large eyes that take up most of their heads.

Wingspan from 180 to 220 centimeters, an adult specimen weighs up to 5 kilograms.

Like many other falconiformes, females are much larger, weighing 1/4 – 1/3 more than males.

The color of the plumage varies from black-brown to dark brown, on the head there is a bright golden yellow crown and nape. On the top of the wings there are also randomly located light areas.

Young golden eagles are similar to adults, but have a duller and more mottled plumage. They have a white-striped tail, a white patch on the carpal joint, which gradually disappears with each molt, until the full plumage of an adult appears in the fifth year of life. Golden eagles have a square-shaped tail, paws are completely covered with feathers.

bird habitats

Berkuts prefer:

  • foothills;
  • plains;
  • open area;
  • treeless places.

But they choose large trees or mountain slopes for nesting.

In the north and west, golden eagles live in the tundra, prairies, pastures or steppes. In winter, the habitat is not important for birds; in summer, golden eagles choose areas with abundant food to feed their offspring. Wooded parts of golden eagles are used for food, fly out to hunt along swamps or rivers.

This magnificent bird is common in North America, Europe and Asia.

Migration

Golden eagles live in the nesting territory all year round. They migrate short distances only due to lack of food during the winter. They do not need to migrate to the far south, they survive thanks to their excellent hunting abilities.

What do golden eagles eat

This bird is not a scavenger, but a predator that regularly takes prey up to the size of foxes and cranes. The beak of golden eagles is good for tearing large prey. Dead animals are eaten by the golden eagle only in times of famine, when it is difficult to find food.

The golden eagle feeds on a range of mammals such as:

  • rabbits;
  • mice;
  • marmots;
  • hares;
  • injured sheep or other large animals;
  • foxes;
  • young deer.

During the winter months, when prey is scarce, golden eagles scavenge for carrion to supplement their fresh diet.

Sometimes, when there is no carrion, golden eagles prey on:

  • owls;
  • hawks;
  • falcons;
  • wolverines.

The open spaces that golden eagles choose to feed on provide ideal hunting grounds for the birds, allowing them to quickly approach from the air, with nowhere for prey to run and hide.

Golden eagles have good eyesight and can spot prey from a distance. The claws of the bird are used to kill and carry prey, they tear food to pieces with their beak.

The behavior of golden eagles in nature

Golden eagles are not noisy birds, but sometimes they make a barking call.

Golden eagle – it is a majestic bird that often circles the sky effortlessly for hours even in the heat of summer. The bird rises into the air from the ground, the golden eagle does not need a long takeoff path or branches to rise into the sky.

Hunting strategy of golden eagles

They look for food by flying high or flying low over slopes, they also track down prey from high branches. When the victim is seen, the golden eagle rushes at it, grabs it with its claws. Members of a pair hunt together, the second bird seizes the prey if the prey evades the first or one bird leads the prey to a waiting partner.

Reproduction and offspring

A large number of gypsy birds live outside the nesting areas, which supports a fairly large population of this large and slowly maturing bird.

Golden eagles mate with one partner for life, build several nests in their territory and use them alternately. The couple is on the move looking for the best place to raise their young. Nests are built from heavy tree branches, lined with grass.

The nest is up to 2 meters in diameter and 1 meter high, golden eagles repair nests as needed and enlarge them with each use. If the nest is in a tree, the supporting branches sometimes break due to the weight of the nest.

Females lay two black eggs in late winter/early spring. Golden eagles incubate immediately after they lay the first egg, the second appears after 45 – 50 days. Nine times out of ten, only one chick survives. In good hunting years, both cubs survive. After another couple of months, young birds leave their parents and make their first flight.

Golden eagles spend a lot of time and effort raising their young. Young golden eagles hunt on their own and are often mistaken for buzzards due to their similar size and coloration.

How long do birds live

The life expectancy of a golden eagle in captivity reaches 30 years, wild birds live for about 20 years – this is a normal life expectancy.

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