Golden Eagle Biology
What is the scientific name for the golden eagle?
All eagles belong to the family Accipitridae. The scientific or binomial name for Golden Eagles is Aquila chrysaetos canadensis. The first part of the name is the genus to which the species belongs; the second part identifies the species within the genus.
There are possibly 6 subspecies of Golden Eagles. All subspecies begin with aquila chrysaetos; the third part of the name identifies where that eagle is located geographically.
The subspecies living in North America is aquila chrysaetos canadensis.
Subspecies Aquila chrysaetos chrysaetos (Europe and Asia)
Subspecies Aquila chrysaetos kamtschatica (northeast Asia – a possible subspecies)
Subspecies Aquila chrysaetos homeyen (Spain, North Africa)
Subspecies Aquila chrysaetos daphanea (Iran to central China)
Subspecies Aquila chrysaetos japonica (Korea and Japan)
What is a ‘booted’ eagle? Is the Golden Eagle a booted eagle?
A booted eagle is one whose legs have feathers all the way to the toes. The Golden Eagle, unlike the Bald Eagle, is booted.
How can you tell the difference between male and female Golden Eagles?
The females are considerable larger than their male counterparts, and can weigh 1/4 to 1/3 more than a male. The coloration is the same on both sexes.
How did the Golden Eagle get its name?
The Golden Eagle is covered with a golden-brown layer of feathers, with feathers on the head and back of the neck a slightly lighter golden color.
What color are a golden eagle’s eyes, beak, and talons?
An adult Golden Eagle’s eyes are dark brown, their bills and claws are black and their ceres (top part of beak closest to head) and feet are yellow.
How large is a golden eagle?
The Golden Eagle is one of the largest and fastest raptors in North America. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology lists these size statistics:
Length: 27.6 – 33.1 inches
Wingspan: 72.8 – 86.6 inches
Weight : 6.6 – 13.5 pounds
American Golden Eagles are usually smaller than the ones in Europe and Asia, but the heaviest Golden Eagle on record, a female, banded and released in 2006 in Wyoming, weighed in at 16 pounds.
What is the life expectancy of a golden eagle?
In the wild, they have been known to live up to 32 years; in captivity, the oldest Golden Eagle on record was 46 years.