Aquila chrysaetos - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Golden Eagle
Other English Common Names: golden eagle
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Aquila chrysaetos (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 175407)
French Common Names: aigle royal
Spanish Common Names: Águila Real
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100925
Element Code: ABNKC22010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 7596

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae Aquila
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Aquila chrysaetos
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16Aug2011
Global Status Last Changed: 22Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread distribution throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Still relatively common in some areas. Rank reflects primarily the extensive distribution; local threats/declines do not yet comprise a major conservation problem from a global perspective.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5 (09Feb2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNRN), Alaska (S4B,S3N), Arizona (S4), Arkansas (S3N), California (S3), Colorado (S3S4B,S4N), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (S1), Idaho (S4B,S4N), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (S1N), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (S1B,S2N), Kentucky (SXB,S2N), Louisiana (S1N), Maine (S1B,S1N), Maryland (S1N), Massachusetts (S1N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRN,SNRM), Mississippi (S1N), Missouri (SNRN), Montana (S3), Navajo Nation (S3S4B,S4N), Nebraska (S3), Nevada (S4), New Hampshire (SHB), New Jersey (S4N), New Mexico (S3B,S4N), New York (SHB,S1N), North Dakota (S3), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S2), Oregon (S3S4), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Dakota (S3S4B,S3N), Tennessee (S1), Texas (S3B), Utah (S4), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SHB,S1N), Washington (S3), West Virginia (S3N), Wisconsin (S2N), Wyoming (S4B,S4N)
Canada Alberta (S3), British Columbia (S4S5B), Labrador (S3B), Manitoba (SNA), Northwest Territories (S4B), Ontario (S2B), Quebec (S2S3), Saskatchewan (S3B,S4M,S3N), Yukon Territory (S3B)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Not at Risk (01Apr1996)
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: In North America, breeding occurs from western and northern Alaska eastward through Northwest Territories to Labrador, and south to northern Mexico, Texas, western Oklahoma, and western Kansas, and in eastern North America southward to New York and northern New England (rare). See Lee and Spofford (1990) for a review of nesting records from the central and southern Appalachians (most nesting records south of the Adirondacks are doubtful). Golden eagles breed also in the Palearctic. The winter range in North America extends from south-central Alaska and southern Canada southward through the breeding range, and casually farther southward. In the United States, the species is most numerous in winter in the Rocky Mountain states, Great Basin, and western edge of the Great Plains (Root 1988). See Milsap and Vana (1984) for information on winter range in the eastern United States. Northernmost populations in Eurasia winter south to northern Africa (Sibley and Monroe 1990).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: The global number of occurrences has not been precisely determined using standardized criteria, but this species clearly is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: North American population in the mid-1980s was estimated at about 70,000; perhaps about 20,000 breeding pairs occur in the western United States. De Smet (1987 COSEWIC report) gave an estimate of 50,000-100,000 for North America. Kirk et al. (1995) reported that the estimated number of breeding pairs in Canada was 1,000-5,000. Rich et al. (2004) estimated global population size at 170,000, with approximately half of the total in the United States and Canada.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Decline in the early 1900s was due to eradication campaigns, frequently encouraged by the use of bounties (eagle was believed to be a major predator on livestock).

Golden eagles are extremely susceptible to powerline electrocution because the wings can span phase-to-phase or phase-to-ground wires (Biosystems Analysis 1989); modifications have been made in problem areas.

Other threats include ingestion of poison intended for coyotes; ingestion of toxic water from mining activities; occasional shootings; habitat loss to agriculture, suburban land uses, and energy development; loss of potential food resources as a result of habitat degradation or rodent/rabbit control; mortality in inappropriately designed stock tanks, and collisions with structures and with vehicles on roadways. Human disturbance or activity may cause nest abandonment, render a nest site less productive, or prevent a suitable nest site from being utilized, but direct disturbance of nests appears to be infrequent (see GBBO 2010).

Mortality resulting from inappropriate wind turbine design and placement looms as an increasing threat. Many eagle deaths have been recorded at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in northern California and at the Pine Tree wind turbine facility in Tehachapi in southern California. Several dozen wind energy developments have been proposed for desert areas in southern California, where there are many occupied golden eagle territories (LaPré 2011). Proposed solar energy developments in the Mohave Desert overlap with golden eagle territories (Wildlife Research Institute 2010). Large-scale wind/solar energy development could reduce prey populations and reduce eagle hunting opportunities (GBBO 2010).

The small population in eastern North America may be negatively affected by poor survival to breeding age (Palmer 1988).

See De Smet (1987 COSEWIC report) for further discussion of threats.

Short-term Trend Comments: Recent data suggest that after several decades of relative stability, golden eagle numbers may again be declining in the West, particularly in the sagesteppe region (see GBBO 2010).

Long-term Trend:  
Long-term Trend Comments: In eastern North America, golden eagles have reappeared in some sites within the historical nesting range (De Smet), but the species may be decreasing in the northeastern United States (Bednarz et al. 1990). Kirk et al. (1995) noted declines in parts of the range in Canada.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Adequate protection requires consideration of nesting sites and foraging areas/prey populations.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) In North America, breeding occurs from western and northern Alaska eastward through Northwest Territories to Labrador, and south to northern Mexico, Texas, western Oklahoma, and western Kansas, and in eastern North America southward to New York and northern New England (rare). See Lee and Spofford (1990) for a review of nesting records from the central and southern Appalachians (most nesting records south of the Adirondacks are doubtful). Golden eagles breed also in the Palearctic. The winter range in North America extends from south-central Alaska and southern Canada southward through the breeding range, and casually farther southward. In the United States, the species is most numerous in winter in the Rocky Mountain states, Great Basin, and western edge of the Great Plains (Root 1988). See Milsap and Vana (1984) for information on winter range in the eastern United States. Northernmost populations in Eurasia winter south to northern Africa (Sibley and Monroe 1990).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KYextirpated, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NT, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Cochise (04003)*, Coconino (04005), Gila (04007), Graham (04009), Greenlee (04011), La Paz (04012), Maricopa (04013), Mohave (04015), Navajo (04017), Pima (04019), Pinal (04021), Santa Cruz (04023), Yavapai (04025)
CA Alameda (06001), Colusa (06011), Contra Costa (06013), El Dorado (06017)*, Fresno (06019)*, Humboldt (06023), Imperial (06025), Inyo (06027), Kern (06029), Lake (06033), Lassen (06035), Los Angeles (06037), Madera (06039), Merced (06047), Modoc (06049), Mono (06051), Monterey (06053), Napa (06055), Orange (06059), Riverside (06065), Sacramento (06067), San Bernardino (06071), San Diego (06073), San Joaquin (06077), San Luis Obispo (06079), Santa Clara (06085), Siskiyou (06093), Solano (06095), Stanislaus (06099), Trinity (06105), Tulare (06107), Ventura (06111)
ID Ada (16001), Bear Lake (16007), Bonner (16017), Boundary (16021), Butte (16023), Cassia (16031), Clark (16033), Custer (16037), Franklin (16041), Fremont (16043), Idaho (16049), Jefferson (16051), Lemhi (16059), Nez Perce (16069), Oneida (16071), Owyhee (16073), Payette (16075), Shoshone (16079), Teton (16081), Twin Falls (16083), Washington (16087)
KS Cheyenne (20023), Clark (20025), Hodgeman (20083), Kiowa (20097), Logan (20109), Meade (20119), Stanton (20187), Wallace (20199)
LA Madison (22065)*
ME Franklin (23007), Oxford (23017), Penobscot (23019)*, Piscataquis (23021), Somerset (23025)
MS Bolivar (28011)*, George (28039)*, Greene (28041)*, Jackson (28059), Perry (28111)*, Sharkey (28125)*, Stone (28131)*, Wilkinson (28157)*
MT Beaverhead (30001), Big Horn (30003), Blaine (30005), Broadwater (30007), Carbon (30009), Carter (30011), Cascade (30013), Custer (30017), Deer Lodge (30023), Fallon (30025), Flathead (30029), Gallatin (30031), Garfield (30033), Glacier (30035), Golden Valley (30037), Granite (30039), Hill (30041), Jefferson (30043)*, Lake (30047), Lewis and Clark (30049), Madison (30057), McCone (30055), Musselshell (30065), Park (30067), Petroleum (30069), Phillips (30071), Pondera (30073), Powder River (30075), Powell (30077), Prairie (30079), Ravalli (30081), Roosevelt (30085), Rosebud (30087), Sanders (30089), Sheridan (30091), Silver Bow (30093), Stillwater (30095), Teton (30099), Toole (30101), Valley (30105), Wheatland (30107), Yellowstone (30111)
ND Billings (38007), Dunn (38025), Golden Valley (38033), McKenzie (38053), Slope (38087), Williams (38105)
NE Banner (31007), Box Butte (31013), Chase (31029), Cheyenne (31033), Dawes (31045), Garden (31069), Hayes (31085)*, Keith (31101), Kimball (31105), Lincoln (31111), McPherson (31117), Morrill (31123), Scotts Bluff (31157), Sheridan (31161), Sioux (31165)
NM Mckinley (35031), Rio Arriba (35039), San Juan (35045), Sandoval (35043)
NV Lyon (32019), Washoe (32031)
NY Dutchess (36027)*, Essex (36031)*, Franklin (36033)*, Hamilton (36041)*, Orange (36071)*, St. Lawrence (36089)*
OK Beaver (40007)*, Cimarron (40025), Ellis (40045), Grant (40053)*, Harper (40059)*, Johnston (40069)*, McCurtain (40089), Muskogee (40101), Sequoyah (40135), Texas (40139), Tillman (40141), Woodward (40153)
OR Baker (41001), Clackamas (41005)*, Coos (41011)*, Crook (41013), Curry (41015)*, Deschutes (41017), Douglas (41019), Gilliam (41021), Grant (41023), Harney (41025), Jackson (41029), Jefferson (41031), Josephine (41033)*, Klamath (41035), Lake (41037), Lane (41039)*, Linn (41043), Malheur (41045), Morrow (41049), Sherman (41055), Umatilla (41059), Union (41061), Wallowa (41063)*, Wasco (41065), Wheeler (41069)
SD Butte (46019), Corson (46031), Custer (46033), Fall River (46047), Haakon (46055), Harding (46063), Hughes (46065), Jackson (46071), Jones (46075), Lyman (46085), McPherson (46089), Meade (46093), Mellette (46095), Pennington (46103), Perkins (46105), Shannon (46113), Ziebach (46137)
TN Cannon (47015)*, Cheatham (47021)*, Fentress (47049)*, Jackson (47087), Monroe (47123), Stewart (47161)*, Van Buren (47175)*
UT San Juan (49037)
WA Adams (53001)+, Asotin (53003)+, Chelan (53007)+, Clallam (53009)+, Clark (53011)+, Columbia (53013)+, Douglas (53017)+, Ferry (53019)+, Franklin (53021)+, Garfield (53023)+, Grant (53025)+, Grays Harbor (53027)+, Jefferson (53031)+, King (53033)+, Kittitas (53037)+, Klickitat (53039)+, Lewis (53041)+, Lincoln (53043)+, Mason (53045)+, Okanogan (53047)+, Pacific (53049)+, Pierce (53053)+, San Juan (53055)+, Skagit (53057)+, Skamania (53059)+, Snohomish (53061)+, Stevens (53065)+, Whatcom (53073)+, Whitman (53075)+, Yakima (53077)+
WY Albany (56001), Big Horn (56003), Campbell (56005), Carbon (56007), Converse (56009), Crook (56011), Fremont (56013), Goshen (56015), Hot Springs (56017), Johnson (56019), Laramie (56021), Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025), Niobrara (56027), Park (56029), Platte (56031), Sheridan (56033), Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041), Washakie (56043), Weston (56045)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Allagash (01010002)+, East Branch Penobscot (01020002)+*, Upper Kennebec (01030001)+*, Dead (01030002)+, Lower Kennebec (01030003)+, Upper Androscoggin (01040001)+, Lower Androscoggin (01040002)+, Saco (01060002)+
02 Upper Hudson (02020001)+*, Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+*
03 Lower Chickasawhay (03170003)+*, Lower Leaf (03170005)+*, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Black (03170007)+*, Escatawpa (03170008)+
04 Black (04150101)+*, Raquette (04150305)+*, St. Regis (04150306)+*, English-Salmon (04150307)+*
05 South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Obey (05130105)+*, Upper Cumberland-Cordell Hull (05130106)+, Caney (05130108)+*, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)+*, Harpeth (05130204)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+*
06 Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+
08 Lower Mississippi-Helena (08020100)+*, Lower Mississippi-Greenville (08030100)+*, Big Sunflower (08030207)+*, Tensas (08050003)+*, Buffalo (08060206)+*
09 St. Marys (09040001)+, Belly (09040002)+
10 Red Rock (10020001)+, Beaverhead (10020002)+, Ruby (10020003)+, Big Hole (10020004)+, Jefferson (10020005)+, Boulder (10020006)+*, Madison (10020007)+, Gallatin (10020008)+, Upper Missouri (10030101)+, Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102)+, Sun (10030104)+, Two Medicine (10030201)+, Cut Bank (10030202)+, Marias (10030203)+, Teton (10030205)+, Fort Peck Reservoir (10040104)+, Big Dry (10040105)+, Upper Musselshell (10040201)+, Middle Musselshell (10040202)+, Flatwillow (10040203)+, Upper Milk (10050002)+, Middle Milk (10050004)+, Lodge (10050007)+, Battle (10050008)+, Cottonwood (10050010)+, Lower Milk (10050012)+, Beaver (10050014)+*, Rock (10050015)+, Charlie-Little Muddy (10060005)+, Big Muddy (10060006)+, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Upper Yellowstone (10070002)+, Upper Yellowstone-Lake Basin (10070004)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Upper Yellowstone-Pompeys Pillar (10070007)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Little Wind (10080002)+, Popo Agie (10080003)+, Muskrat (10080004)+, Lower Wind (10080005)+, Badwater (10080006)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+, Nowood (10080008)+, Greybull (10080009)+, Big Horn Lake (10080010)+, Dry (10080011)+, North Fork Shoshone (10080012)+, South Fork Shoshone (10080013)+, Shoshone (10080014)+, Little Bighorn (10080016)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Lower Tongue (10090102)+, Middle Fork Powder (10090201)+, Upper Powder (10090202)+, South Fork Powder (10090203)+, Salt (10090204)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+, Clear (10090206)+, Middle Powder (10090207)+, Little Powder (10090208)+, Lower Powder (10090209)+, Mizpah (10090210)+, Lower Yellowstone-Sunday (10100001)+, Rosebud (10100003)+, Lower Yellowstone (10100004)+, O'fallon (10100005)+, Lake Sakakawea (10110101)+, Upper Little Missouri (10110201)+, Boxelder (10110202)+, Middle Little Missouri (10110203)+, Lower Little Missouri (10110205)+, Antelope (10120101)+, Dry Fork Cheyenne (10120102)+, Upper Cheyenne (10120103)+, Lance (10120104)+, Lightning (10120105)+, Angostura Reservoir (10120106)+, Beaver (10120107)+, Hat (10120108)+, Middle Cheyenne-Spring (10120109)+, Rapid (10120110)+, Middle Cheyenne-Elk (10120111)+, Cherry (10120113)+, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+, Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Knife (10130201)+, Cedar (10130205)+, North Fork Grand (10130301)+, South Fork Grand (10130302)+, Grand (10130303)+, South Fork Moreau (10130304)+, Upper Moreau (10130305)+, Lower Moreau (10130306)+, Fort Randall Reservoir (10140101)+, Bad (10140102)+, Medicine Knoll (10140103)+, Medicine (10140104)+, Upper White (10140201)+, Middle White (10140202)+, Little White (10140203)+, Lower White (10140204)+, Niobrara Headwaters (10150002)+, Upper Niobrara (10150003)+, Snake (10160008)+, Upper North Platte (10180002)+, Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs (10180003)+, Medicine Bow (10180004)+, Little Medicine Bow (10180005)+, Sweetwater (10180006)+, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+, Glendo Reservoir (10180008)+, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Lower Laramie (10180011)+, Horse (10180012)+, Pumpkin (10180013)+, Lower North Platte (10180014)+, Cache La Poudre (10190007)+, Lone Tree-Owl (10190008)+, Crow (10190009)+, Upper Lodgepole (10190015)+, Lower Lodgepole (10190016)+, Sidney Draw (10190017)+, North Fork Republican (10250002)+, Upper Republican (10250004)+*, Frenchman (10250005)+, Smoky Hill Headwaters (10260001)+
11 Pawnee (11030005)+, Cimarron headwaters (11040001)+*, Upper Cimarron (11040002)+, Sand Arroyo (11040004)+, Upper Cimarron-Liberal (11040006)+*, Crooked (11040007)+, Upper Cimarron-Bluff (11040008)+, Upper Salt Fork Arkansas (11060002)+, Medicine Lodge (11060003)+, Lower Salt Fork Arkansas (11060004)+*, Upper Beaver (11100101)+, Middle Beaver (11100102)+*, Coldwater (11100103)+, Lower Beaver (11100201)+*, Lower Wolf (11100203)+, Dirty-Greenleaf (11110102)+, Blue-China (11130102)+, West Cache (11130203)+, Lower Washita (11130304)+*, Upper Little (11140107)+
13 Arroyo Chico (13020205)+, Rio San Jose (13020207)+
14 Upper Green (14040101)+, New Fork (14040102)+, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Big Sandy (14040104)+, Bitter (14040105)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Muddy (14040108)+, Vermilion (14040109)+, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+, Little Snake (14050003)+, Muddy (14050004)+, Lower Lake Powell (14070006)+, Paria (14070007)+*, Upper San Juan (14080101)+, Blanco Canyon (14080103)+, Middle San Juan (14080105)+, Chaco (14080106)+, Lower San Juan-Four Corners (14080201)+, Chinle (14080204)+, Lower San Juan (14080205)+
15 Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon (15010001)+, Kanab (15010003)+, Havasu Canyon (15010004)+, Lake Mead (15010005)+, Grand Wash (15010006)+*, Hualapai Wash (15010007)+, Fort Pierce Wash (15010009)+, Lower Virgin (15010010)+, Detrital Wash (15010014)+, Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Upper Little Colorado (15020002)+, Silver (15020005)+, Upper Puerco (15020006)+, Middle Little Colorado (15020008)+, Chevelon Canyon (15020010)+, Cottonwood Wash (15020011)+, Corn-Oraibi (15020012)+, Polacca Wash (15020013)+, Jadito Wash (15020014)+, Canyon Diablo (15020015)+, Lower Little Colorado (15020016)+, Dinnebito Wash (15020017)+, Moenkopi Wash (15020018)+, Havasu-Mohave Lakes (15030101)+, Piute Wash (15030102)+*, Sacramento Wash (15030103)+, Imperial Reservoir (15030104)+, Bouse Wash (15030105)+, Big Sandy (15030201)+, Burro (15030202)+, Santa Maria (15030203)+, Bill Williams (15030204)+, Upper Gila-Mangas (15040002)+*, Animas Valley (15040003)+*, San Francisco (15040004)+, Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir (15040005)+, San Simon (15040006)+*, San Carlos (15040007)+, Middle Gila (15050100)+, Willcox Playa (15050201)+*, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)+, Lower Santa Cruz (15050303)+, Upper Salt (15060103)+, Tonto (15060105)+, Lower Salt (15060106)+, Big Chino-Williamson Valley (15060201)+, Upper Verde (15060202)+, Lower Verde (15060203)+, Agua Fria (15070102)+, Centennial Wash (15070104)+, Tenmile Wash (15070202)+, Rio De La Concepcion (15080200)+, San Bernardino Valley (15080302)+*
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+, Central Bear (16010102)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Curlew Valley (16020309)+, Smoke Creek Desert (16040203)+*, Massacre Lake (16040204)+*, Thousand-Virgin (16040205)+*, Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes (16050103)+, Middle Carson (16050202)+, Ivanpah-Pahrump Valleys (16060015)+
17 Fisher (17010102)+, Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Upper Clark Fork (17010201)+, Flint-Rock (17010202)+, Blackfoot (17010203)+, Bitterroot (17010205)+, North Fork Flathead (17010206)+, Middle Fork Flathead (17010207)+, Lower Flathead (17010212)+, Lower Clark Fork (17010213)+, Priest (17010215)+, St. Joe (17010304)+, Lower Spokane (17010307), Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001), Kettle (17020002), Colville (17020003), Sanpoil (17020004), Chief Joseph (17020005), Okanogan (17020006), Similkameen (17020007), Methow (17020008), Lake Chelan (17020009), Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010), Wenatchee (17020011), Moses Coulee (17020012), Upper Crab (17020013), Banks Lake (17020014), Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016), Upper Yakima (17030001), Naches (17030002), Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Gros Ventre (17040102)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Salt (17040105)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, Raft (17040210)+, Goose (17040211)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Medicine Lodge (17040215)+, Birch (17040216)+, Little Lost (17040217)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+, Middle Owyhee (17050107)+*, Jordan (17050108)+*, Crooked-Rattlesnake (17050109)+, Lower Owyhee (17050110)+, Middle Snake-Payette (17050115)+, Upper Malheur (17050116)+, Lower Malheur (17050117)+, Bully (17050118)+*, Willow (17050119)+*, Payette (17050122)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+*, Burnt (17050202)+, Powder (17050203)+, Imnaha (17060102)+*, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Upper Grande Ronde (17060104)+, Wallowa (17060105)+*, Lower Grande Ronde (17060106)+, Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107), Palouse (17060108), Lower Snake (17060110), Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Pahsimeroi (17060202)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lemhi (17060204)+, Upper Middle Fork Salmon (17060205)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+, Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula (17070101)+, Umatilla (17070103)+, Willow (17070104)+, Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+, Klickitat (17070106), Upper John Day (17070201)+, North Fork John Day (17070202)+*, Middle Fork John Day (17070203)+, Lower John Day (17070204)+, Upper Deschutes (17070301)+, Little Deschutes (17070302)+*, Beaver-South Fork (17070303)+, Upper Crooked (17070304)+, Lower Crooked (17070305)+, Lower Deschutes (17070306)+, Trout (17070307)+, Lewis (17080002), Lower Columbia-Clatskanie (17080003), Upper Cowlitz (17080004), Lower Cowlitz (17080005), Lower Columbia (17080006), Upper Willamette (17090003)+, Mckenzie (17090004)+*, South Santiam (17090006)+*, Molalla-Pudding (17090009)+*, Hoh-Quillayute (17100101), Queets-Quinault (17100102), Upper Chehalis (17100103), Lower Chehalis (17100104), North Umpqua (17100301)+, South Umpqua (17100302)+*, Umpqua (17100303)+, Coquille (17100305)+*, Upper Rogue (17100307)+, Middle Rogue (17100308)+, Lower Rogue (17100310)+*, Chetco (17100312)+*, San Juan Islands (17110003), Nooksack (17110004), Upper Skagit (17110005), Sauk (17110006), Stillaguamish (17110008), Skykomish (17110009), Snoqualmie (17110010), Duwamish (17110013), Nisqually (17110015), Hood Canal (17110018), Dungeness-Elwha (17110020), Crescent-Hoko (17110021), Harney-Malheur Lakes (17120001)+, Silvies (17120002)+, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+, Silver (17120004)+, Summer Lake (17120005)+, Lake Abert (17120006)+, Warner Lakes (17120007)+, Guano (17120008)+, Alvord Lake (17120009)+
18 Mad-Redwood (18010102)+, Lower Eel (18010105)+, South Fork Eel (18010106)+, Mattole (18010107)+, Williamson (18010201)+, Sprague (18010202)+*, Upper Klamath Lake (18010203)+, Lost (18010204)+, Upper Klamath (18010206)+, Shasta (18010207)+, Scott (18010208)+*, Trinity (18010211)+, South Fork Trinity (18010212)+, Goose Lake (18020001)+, Upper Pit (18020002)+, Sacramento-Stone Corral (18020104)+, Upper Cache (18020116)+, South Fork American (18020129)+*, Upper Putah (18020162)+, Lower Sacramento (18020163)+, South Fork Kern (18030002)+, Middle Kern-Upper Tehachapi- (18030003)+, Upper King (18030010)+*, Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes (18030012)+, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040001)+, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040002)+, San Joaquin Delta (18040003)+, Upper San Joaquin (18040006)+*, Upper Cosumnes (18040013)+, Suisun Bay (18050001)+, San Pablo Bay (18050002)+, Coyote (18050003)+, San Francisco Bay (18050004)+, Salinas (18060005)+, Alisal-Elkhorn Sloughs (18060011)+, Santa Clara (18070102)+, Santa Monica Bay (18070104)+, San Jacinto (18070202)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Aliso-San Onofre (18070301)+, Santa Margarita (18070302)+, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, San Diego (18070304)+, Cottonwood-Tijuana (18070305)+, Surprise Valley (18080001)+*, Madeline Plains (18080002)+*, Honey-Eagle Lakes (18080003)+*, Crowley Lake (18090102)+, Owens Lake (18090103)+*, Eureka-Saline Valleys (18090201)+*, Upper Amargosa (18090202)+*, Death Valley-Lower Amargosa (18090203)+, Panamint Valley (18090204)+*, Indian Wells-Searles Valleys (18090205)+, Antelope-Fremont Valleys (18090206)+, Coyote-Cuddeback Lakes (18090207)+, Mojave (18090208)+, Southern Mojave (18100100)+, Whitewater River (18100201)+, Carrizo Creek (18100202)+, San Felipe Creek (18100203)+*, Salton Sea (18100204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large raptor.
General Description: This is a very large raptor with mostly brown plumage, a golden wash on the back of the head and neck, and a mostly horn-colored bill; tail is faintly banded; immatures have white at the base of the primaries and a white tail with a dark terminal band; total length 76-102 cm, wingspan 203-224 cm (NGS 1983).
Diagnostic Characteristics: This species differs from the bald eagle in lacking a white head in adults and in lacking white spotting on the underwing coverts in immatures.
Reproduction Comments: Egg dates: by late April in northern Alaska (later if snow persists); peak in late February-March in the region from California to Texas (but earlier nesting may yield young ready to fly as early as March 1 in Texas); late February-early March in Utah; March-April in northeastern United States. Clutch size is 1-3, rarely 4 (usually 2). Incubation, mostly by the female, lasts about 43-45 days. Young can fly at 60-77 days (fledging takes longer in the far north than in the southern part of the range). Young are cared for by parents for 30+ additional days; family unit sometimes may remain together several months. Typically first breeds in 4th or 5th year. Lifelong monogamy may be the rule, though some apparent exceptions have been recorded. A positive correlation between breeding success and jackrabbit number was reported in Idaho, Colorado, and Utah. Distance between active nests almost never is less than 0.8 km. See Palmer (1988) for further details on reproduction.
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migratory populations may exist in areas where the species is present throughout the year, so specific migration patterns may be obscure. Northernmost populations withdraw southward for winter (some individuals may remain in north); these migrants may migrate farther south than do birds from breeding populations to the south; migrants return to northern breeding areas mainly in March-April. Most vacate hot deserts during summer.

In predatory bird surveys over 12 months in the eastern Mohave Desert, San Bernardino County, California, Knight et al. (1999) observed golden eagles only during November and December, despite the species being a regular nesting bird in the Mohave Desert. The low number of observations may have reflected a naturally low density of eagles, lack of overlap of survey routes with eagle territories, or seasonal migrations of eagles between summer nesting areas in desert mountains and wintering areas in desert basins (Knight et al. 1999). See Palmer (1988) for discussion of seasonal movements.

A juvenile from Denali National Park, Alaska, migrated through Yukon Territory and interior British Columbia to a wintering site in east-central Idaho; another juvenile migrated through the Yukon, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to northeastern Montana (Britten et al. 1995).

Territory size in several areas of the western United States averaged 57-142 sq km (Palmer 1988). In desert regions, territories may be much larger (e.g., 258-310 sq km; see Wildlife Research Institute 2010).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Cliff, Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Tundra, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Golden eagles generally inhabit open and semi-open country such as prairies, sagebrush, arctic and alpine tundra, savannah or sparse woodland, and barren areas, especially in hilly or mountainous regions, in areas with sufficient mammalian prey base and near suitable nesting sites. In Nevada, the only habitats routinely avoided by golden eagles are forests, large agricultural areas, and urban areas (GBBO 2010).

Nests are most often on rock ledges of cliffs but sometimes in large trees (e.g., oak or eucalytus in California, white pine in eastern North America), on steep hillsides, or on the ground. Nesting cliffs may face any direction and may be close to or distant from water. In Elko County, Nevada, 93 percent of nests were on cliffs, 71 percent were at elevations between 5,000 feet and 6,500 feet, and 43 percent faced east; 84 percent of nests were within two miles of water with desert riparian habitat (Page and Seibert 1973).

A pair may have multiple alternate nests; the pair may use the same or alternate nests in consecutive years.

Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: The diet consists promarily of small mammals (e.g., rabbits, marmots, ground squirrels) but sometimes also includes large insects, snakes, birds, juvenile ungulates, and carrion. In the western Great Basin, the four most frequent prey species were black-tailed jackrabbit, mountain cottontail, yellow-bellied marmot, and chukar; Lagomorpha accounted for 91 percent of the prey biomass (Bloom and Hawks 1982). Golden eagles rarely attack large, healthy mammals (e.g., pigs, sheep, deer) (Terres 1980). Individual can fast for days between feedings. They hunt while soaring or from a perch (the latter especially used by young), and individuals may hunt cooperatively. See Palmer (1988) for further details.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Foraging commonly occurs in early morning and early evening.
Length: 102 centimeters
Weight: 4692 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: In many cases, resident eagles may be responsible for chronic loss of young domestic lambs, particularly in parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah (see Phillips et al. 1991).

Eagle feathers are used for religious and cultural purposes by Native Americans, and the Department of the Interior is responsible for facilitating the distribution of eagle carcasses for these purposes (executive directive, 29 April 1994).

Management Summary
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Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Size of protected habitat patches should be at least 250 sq km and preferably at least 1,000 sq km (see GBBO 2010).
Management Requirements: Relocation of breeding adult eagles (residents) offers, at best, only a short-term soluation to the problem of eagle predation on livestock (in Wyoming, most relocated birds reestablished their territories) (Phillips et al. 1991).

See Fala et al. (1985) for information on artificial nest sites.

Monitoring Requirements: See Britten et al. (1995) for information on satellite telemetry.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Nest site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of breeding (including historical); and potential recurring breeding at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs with occupied nests in appropriate habitat. Occurrence includes not only the nest sites, but also the surrounding areas used for feeding during the nesting season.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Where an occurrence is at least twice the size of a minimum A-ranked occurrence, it may be divided into two or more A-ranked occurrences along divisions that are narrower (or absent) than the separation distances given. The dividing lines should be made as much as possible along lines of limited eagle use; for example, along major urban areas or very wide bodies of water.
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary and is not intended to establish occurrences that represent discrete populations. Instead, it attempts to balance the high mobility of these birds against the need for occurrences of practical size for conservation purposes. Separation distance is based on nest sites; nest sites separated by a gap that is less than the separation distance represent the same occurrence.

Home range size is highly variable and probably similar to territory, which has been estimated to average between 23 and 192 square kilometers in the western United States (Beecham and Kochert 1975, McGahan 1968, Smith and Murphy 1973, Dixon 1937).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 6 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a conservatively small home range of 30 square kilometers (see Separation Justification).
Date: 28Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering individuals outside their breeding area (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary and is not intended to establish occurrences that represent discrete populations. Instead, it attempts to balance the high mobility of these birds against the need for occurrences of practical size for conservation purposes.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 6 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a conservatively small home range of 30 square kilometers (see Separation Justification in Breeding Location Use Class).
Date: 28Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Aug2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 16Aug2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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