This eagle is most likely to be seen in western North America, soaring on steady wings while scanning for food below. They live in open country featuring native vegetation and will avoid developed areas and uninterrupted stretches of forest. They are found primarily in mountains up to 12,000 feet, canyonlands, rimrock terrain, and riverside cliffs and bluffs. Golden eagles can carry up to 8 pounds during flight. The grip strength of their talons is around 500 psi, which is strong enough to pop a car tire. Golden eagles can fly up to 80 mph, though the average speed is 28-32 mph, and may reach speeds up to 200mph in a dive.
Click HERE for a Golden Eagle Activity Sheet!
Our Current Resident
Oro, Male - Hatched June 2006 (estimate)
In 2006 Oro had collided with a vehicle and the impact left him with a permanent wing injury. Oro went to Idaho Fish and Game after his injury. From there he was deemed unreleasable to the wild and he was brought to ZooMontana in 2007. He can often be seen sitting on the highest perch right in the middle of the exhibit. If not there, especially on hot days, check for him towards the back of his habitat sitting on the rocks.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Ave
- Order: Accipitriformes
- Family: Accipitridae
- Genus: Aquila
- Species: Aquila chrysaetos
- Carnivore: eats smaller to medium sized mammals like rabbits, ground squirrels, foxes, or even young deer
- Population: stable
- Habitat: Grasslands
- Diurnal: active during the day