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Aquila chrysaetos, Steinadler, Golden eagle The Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once distributed across North America, Europe and Asia, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas.
The Golden Eagle is one of twelve species of large predominantly dark-coloured eagles in the genus Aquila found worldwide; a large brown bird of prey, it has a wingspan averaging over 2 m (7 ft) and up to 1m (3 ft) in body ...Adult Golden Eagles range widely in size across their range. The largest races comprise the largest eagles of the genus Aquila. Length may vary from 66 to 100 cm (26-40 in), wingspan can range from 150 to 240 cm (59-95 in), and weight is from 2.5 to 7 kg (5.5-15.4 lb). As in all birds of prey, the females are generally slightly larger than the males.
The plumage colours range from black-brown to dark brown, with a striking golden-buff crown and nape, which give the bird its name. The juveniles resemble the adults, but have a duller more mottled appearance. Also they have a white-banded tail and a white patch at the carpal joint, that gradually disappear with every moult until full adult plumage is reached in the fifth year.At one time, the Golden Eagle lived in temperate Europe, North Asia, North America, North Africa and Japan. In most areas this bird is now a mountain-dweller, but in former centuries it also bred in the plains and the forests. In recent years it has started to breed in lowland areas again (Sweden, Denmark).
There was a great decline in Central Europe, and the Golden Eagle is now restricted to the Appennine regions of Italy (Abruzzo and Pollino), and the Alps. In Britain, there are about 420 pairs left in the Scottish highlands, and between 1969 and 2004 they bred in the English Lake District. In North America the situation is not as dramatic, but there has still been a noticeable decline. Golden Eagles can often be seen soaring above mountains in Scotland....They build several eyries within their territory and use them alternately for several years. The nest consists of heavy tree branches, upholstered with grass.The female lays two eggs between January and May (depending on the area). After 45 days the young hatch. They are entirely white and are fed for fifty days before they are able to make their first flight attempts and eat on their own. In most cases only the older chick, which takes most of the food, survives, while the younger one dies without leaving the eyrie.Golden Eagles often have a division of labour while hunting: one partner drives the prey to its waiting partner. They have very good eyesight and can spot prey from a long distance. The talons are used for killing and carrying the prey, the beak is used only for eating.Their prey includes marmots, hares and mice, and sometimes birds, martens, foxes, young deer, and livestock including lambs and kids. During winter months when prey is scarce, Golden Eagles scavenge on carrion to supplement their diet.Source:Wikipedia
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