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The Golden Eagle

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The Golden Eagle

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:16 pm

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The Golden Eagle
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Adult

Chick

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General Information;


Type: Bird
Diet: Carnivore
Size: 33 to 38 in (84 to 97 cm); Wingspan, 6 to 7.5 ft (1.8 to 2.3 m)
Weight: 6 to 15 lbs (3 to 7 kg)
Scientific Classification: Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Order: Accipitritformes, Family: Accipitridae
Conservation Status:

Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:

# Golden Eagle Range


The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas. Despite being extirpated from some its former range or uncommon, the species is still fairly ubiquitous, being present in Eurasia, North America, and parts of Africa. The highest density of nesting Golden Eagles in the world lies in southern Alameda County, California. Golden Eagles maintain territories that may be as large as 155 square kilometres (60 sq mi). They are monogamous and may remain together for several years or possibly for life. Golden Eagles nest in high places including cliffs, trees, or human structures such as telephone poles. They build huge nests to which they may return for several breeding years.
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Physical Features;
The Golden Eagle is a large, dark brown raptor with broad wings. Its size is variable: it ranges from 66 to 100 cm (26 to 39 in) in length and it has a typical wingspan of 1.8 to 2.34 m (5.9 to 7.7 ft). The maximum size of this species is a matter of some debate, although the normal upper weight limit for a large female is around 6.8 kg (15 lb) and large races are the heaviest representatives of the Aquila genus. The genders are similar in plumage but are considerably dimorphic in size, with females rather larger than males. Adults are primarily brown, with gold on the back of the crown and nape, and some grey on the wings and tail. Tarsal feathers range from white to dark brown. The bill is dark at the tip, fading to a lighter horn color, with a yellow cere. Juveniles have a darker, unfaded color, white patches in the remiges which may be divided by darker feathers, and a large amount of white on the tail with a black terminal band. Occasionally upper wing feathers of juveniles are also white, or birds lack white on the wing entirely. As the bird ages, the amount of white on wings and tail diminishes, and adult plumages is usually acquired by the fifth year.
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Mental Features;
Golden Eagles possess astonishing speed and maneuverability for their size. Diving from great heights, they have been clocked at close to 200 miles per hour. In an undulating territorial and courtship display known as “sky-dancing,” a Golden Eagle performs a rapid series of up to 20 steep dives and upward swoops, beating its wings three or four times at the top of each rise. In “pendulum flight,” the eagle dives and rises, then turns over to retrace its path. Single birds and pairs engage in aerial play with objects such as sticks or dead prey, carrying these items high into the sky, then dropping and retrieving them. In addition to attacking prey from the air, Golden Eagles sometimes hunt on the ground, wildly flapping as they run. Mated pairs hunt jackrabbits cooperatively during breeding season—one eagle diverting the animal’s attention while the second makes the kill.
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Diet;
Golden Eagles use their agility and speed combined with extremely powerful talons to snatch up prey including rabbits, marmots, ground squirrels, and large mammals such as foxes, wild and domestic cats, mountain goats, ibex, and young deer. They will also eat carrion if prey is scarce, as well as reptiles. Birds, including large species up to the size of swans and cranes as well as ravens and Greater Black-backed Gulls have all been recorded as prey. They have even been known to attack and kill fully grown roe deer.
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Wolf vs. Golden Eagle;
Golden eagles may not seem like a large threat to wolves, however, they are more of a threat than you'd think. Golden eagles (The Eurasian subspecies) have been used by native communities to hunt and kill off wolves and wolf pups. The golden eagle advantages are it's speed, flying ability and talons, whereas the wolf only has it's strong teeth with a battle against an eagle. The golden would either directly swoop in at the wolf and gras it with it's talons, or await for the perfect moment to strike - usually attacking the face or neck of the wolf after attacking the hind legs. In terms of attacking pups, the golden eagle would usually swoop down and grasp the pup by the neck, and these eagles have been known to carry wolf pups into the air after attacking them.
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Credits (c);

Images:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorilynn6/4788646703/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/insecta62/1677079230/

Information:
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/golden-eagle/?source=A-to-Z
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Eagle
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden_Eagle/lifehistory/ac
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