Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Key facts

Scientific name: Aquila chrysaetos

Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding birds: 440 pairs

Conservation status: Ambe

Length: 70 – 84 cm

Wingspan: 185 – 220 cm

Weight: 3 – 6.4 kg


Golden eagles have dark golden-brown upperparts with a paler, golden crown and nape and grey flight feathers.

Golden eagles’ legs are entirely covered in feathers and adults have a dark tipped bill.

Immature golden eagles have white patches on the underside of the wing and a white tail with a dark band.


Golden eagles make their nests from large twigs and roots and lined it with moss, bark, fur and other soft material. Nests can measure up to 3 m across.

Golden eagles lay 2-4 whitish eggs with cinnamon brown spots and are incubated usually by the female for 43-45 days. The young fledge at 72-84 days but rely on their parents for another 3 months.


Golden eagles have a varied diet comprising mammals such as rabbits, mice and foxes, other birds including game birds and snakes. They will also feed on carrion.

Golden Eagle

Where to see them

Golden eagles can be seen all year round in the open moorlands and mountains of Scotland. There are also a few golden eagles living in North West England.


Lauri Hallikainen/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Golden eagles will eat tortoises, cracking the shell by dropping them from a great height so they can access the meat inside.

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