The golden eagle is named for the way the feathers on the nape of its neck glisten in the sun. They are light brown in color with dark brown eyes, a brownish bill and a faintly banded tail. Golden eagles stand up to 38” tall, fly with an average speed of 28-32 mph and can dive at up to 200 mph. They are protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1962.
Golden eagles eat ground squirrels, jackrabbits, small mammals, birds and reptiles. They can carry up to 8 lbs.
Golden eagles live throughout California and have a home range of about 35 square miles. Pairs will not nest every year and usually rotate between many nests. They have been known to have up to 10 separate nests, which are 8-10’ across and 3-4’ deep. They are usually found in mountainous areas, canyons, shrub-land and grassland. Females will lay 1-4 eggs, taking 35 – 45 days to incubate, and babies will leave the nest approximately 3 months later.