Golden eagle

(Aquila chrysaetos)




Facts about this animal

The Golden eagle has a total length from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail of 66 to 100 cm. The length of the wing from the bend of the folded wing to the tip of the primaries is 48 to 53 cm in males and 51 to 56 cm in females. Males weigh from 1.6 to 2 kg, females from 2.15 to 3.2 kg. The general appearance is dark brown with a purplish gloss, with golden-brown feathers on the back of the head, neck and upper wings. Underparts are paler and duller.The upper- and under-tail coverts are often tipped and edged white. The legs are yellow, and the bill is dark grey. Sexual dimorphism exists only in size with females being slightly larger.

Did you know?
that, although capable of killing large prey such as cranes, wild ungulates, and domestic livestock, the Golden Eagle subsists primarily on rabbits, hares, marmots, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs?


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Aquila chrysaetos
Name (English) Golden eagle
Name (French) Aigle royal
Name (German) Steinadler
Name (Spanish) Aguila real
Local names Croatian: Suri orao
Czech: Orel skalní
Estonian: Kaljukotkas
Finnish: Maakotka
Hungarian: Szirti sas
Italian: Aquila reale
Lithuanian: Kilnusis erelis
Norwegian: Kongeørn
Polish: Orzel przedni
Romansh: Evla (de la pizza)
Slovenian: Planinski orel
Swedish: Kungsörn
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Appendix II (as Accipitridae spp.)



Photo Copyright by
Richard Bartz



Range Holarctic breeding range, extending south to northern Africa, Arabia, the Himalayas and Mexico. The northernmost birds migration south in winter. Asia: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea DPR, Korea, Rep., Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latria, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia former Yug. Rep., Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom North America: Canada, Mexico, United States, Vagrants in a few more countries.
Habitat Open terrain of deserts, mountains, plateaux, steppes and other places where rugged terrain creates abundant updrafts.
Wild population Most populations stabilizing again after sharp declines until 1950.
Zoo population 172 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Golden eagle


How this animal should be transported

Untrained birds travel better in completely dark boxes, with a carpeted floor and roof, with an upwards sliding door at one end and no perch. As a general rule, trained birds are easier to manage in boxes with a carpeted perch at the right height to give plenty of head and tail room, and with a hinged side opening door.

For air transport, Container Note 20 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Zoo Ostrava

Why do zoos keep this animal

The golden - or the very similar Imperial - eagle is of major educational interest because it has been used by the Holy Roman Empire, founded by Charlemagne in 800 many countries as a national symbol, depicting power, beauty and independence. Note that, in French, the species is called "Aigle royal", Royal eagle. It is also widely used as a religious symbol and logo of organizations. Golden eagles are often used in flight shows. Zoos may also keep golden eagles for animal welfare reasons as they may accept to care for injured birds which cannot be returned to the wild.