SPECIES

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos

Todd E. Katzner, Michael N. Kochert, Karen Steenhof, Carol L. McIntyre, Erica H. Craig, and Tricia A. Miller
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2020

Tables and Appendices

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Table 1

Morphological measurements of North American Golden Eagles.

All measurements are from live eagles except those reported by Edwards and Kochert (Edwards and Kochert 1986), which were from necropsied birds, and Bortolotti (Bortolotti 1984a) and Friedman (Friedmann 1950), which were from museum skins. Region represents the area of capture but may include both migrants and residents. Mass measurements in particular are expected to be season and condition-dependent. In particular, aside from the Edwards and Kochert (Edwards and Kochert 1986) measurements that were collected at necropsy, the USGS unpublished data were collected in all times of the year, Lish et al. (Lish et al. 2016) was a study of migratory individuals, TAM, Lanzone & Cooper data were from migratory and wintering birds and EHC, T. Craig data were from wintering eagles of unknown residency status. A = Adult, SA = Subadult, J = Juvenile.

     

Males

Females

 

Measurement

Age

Region

n

Mean

Range

n

Mean

Range

Source

Wing chorda (mm)

All

Range wide

190

593

(545-636)

107

631

(586-666)

Liguori et al. 2020

 

A/SA

Range wide

23

595

(569-619)

27

640.4

(601-674)

Bortolotti 1984a

 

A

Range wide

12

580.5

(555-610)

17

633.2

(620-666)

Friedmann 1950

 

A

MT, WY

15

587

 (565-612)

6

632

(619-659)

Lish et al. 2016

 

A

East NA

12

583.8

(557-605)

20

622.1

(585 – 660)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

 

SA

East NA

20

575.1

(549–592)

6

607.3

(580-635)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

 

J

Range wide

26

585.9

(559-636)

31

632.2

(601-665)

Bortolotti 1984a

 

J

MT, WY

5

583

(562-597)

7

630

(610-659)

Lish et al. 2016

 

J

East NA

11

597.3

(555-654)

6

610

(551–625)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

Tail length (mm)

All

Range wide

183

326

(289 – 371)

108

346

(298-375)

Liguori et al. 2020

 

A/SA

Range wide

22

286.5

(267-310)

24

307.2

(290-330)

Bortolotti 1984a

 

A

Range wide

12

337.4

(320-360)

17

366.2

(350-390)

Friedmann 1950

 

A

East NA

11

306.2

(270-320)

20

331.2

(280-350)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

 

SA

East NA

17

305

(275-323)

6

321.3

(270-353)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

 

J

Range wide

23

297.7

(269-341)

30

322

(285-375)

Bortolotti 1984a

 

J

East NA

11

326.1

(300-365)

6

331.7

(325-344)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

Exposed culmen lengthb (mm)

All

Range-wide

181

41

(37-50)

107

44

(41-48)

Liguori et al. 2020

A/SA

Range wide

23

40.6

(36.9-43.5)

27

44.2

(41.7-47.5)

Bortolotti 1984a

A

Range wide

12

39.5

(37-41)

17

44

(41-47)

Friedmann 1950

 

J

Range wide

26

39.4

(36.2-42.6)

31

43.3

(39.9-50.0)

Bortolotti 1984a

Middle toec (mm)

A

Range wide

12

60.5

(57-66)

17

67.5

(62-73)

Friedmann 1950

Foot pad (mm)

A

ID

31

131.6

(120-137)

18

145.4

(139-153)

Edwards and Kochert 1986

Hallux claw (mm)

All

Range wide

184

48

(39-54)

108

54

(49-60)

Liguori et al. 2020

 

A/SA

Range wide

23

49.4

(45.9-52.9)

26

55.7

(49.8-63.4)

Bortolotti 1984a

 

J

Range wide

24

47.8

(44.9-51.3)

30

54

(49.7-58.2)

Bortolotti 1984a

Tarsus width (mm)

All

East NA

24

16.08

(14.09 – 17.80)

21

19.65

(16.70 – 24.00)

TAM, M. Lanzone, unpublished data

 

All

WY

21

12.38

(11.63 – 13.45)

10

14.59

(13.72 – 16.87)

M. Lockhart, unpublished data

 

All

ID

10

15.2

(14.0 – 16.2)

8

16.8

(15.9–18.1)

EHC, T. Craig, unpublished data

Tarsus Length (mm)

A

Range wide

12

111.6

(101-122)

17

114.9

(103-123)

Friedmann 1950

Body Mass (g)

All

ID

31

3,477

(2,495 - 4,281)

18

4,913

(3,374-6,124)

Edwards and Kochert 1986

 

All

SW ID

34

3,900

(3,000-4,475)

14

4,627

(4,075-5,280)

USGS, unpublished data

 

All

Range wide

140

3,348

(2,387–4,361)

80

4,778

(3,048–6,442)

Liguori et al. 2020

 

A

MT & WY

15

3,553

(3250-4180)

6

5,097

(4,600-6,000)

Lish et al. 2016

 

A

East NA

12

4,055

(3,540-4,430)

20

5,226

(4,200-6,460)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

 

SA

East NA

22

3,928

(3,370-4,500)

7

4,923

(4,250-6,020)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

 

J

MT & WY

5

3,730

(3,250-4400)

7

4,257

(3,600-5,300)

Lish et al. 2016

 

J

East NA

10

3,647

(2,690-4,300)

7

4,644

(4,300-5,120)

TAM, M. Lanzone, J. Cooper, unpublished data

a Unflattened wing chord

b Measured from cere

c Without claw

Table 2

Prey of primary, secondary, and tertiary importance in nesting season diets of Golden Eagles in the western United States, Alaska, and northern Canada summarized by CEC Level II Ecoregiona. Number of prey items are the minimum number of individuals identified.

Ecoregion Level IIb

Years (areas)

# Prey Items

Primary Prey

Secondary Prey

Tertiary Prey

Southern Arctic, Canadac

4 (1)

44

Sciurids (U. parryii g)

Waterfowl (Branta canadensis, Somateria spp.)

Leporids (Lepus arcticus)

Alaska Tundrad

2 (1)

727

Sciurids (S. parryii g)

Birds (Lagopus spp.)

Waterfowl (F. Anatidae)

Boreal Cordillera e

13 (1)

2,569

Sciurids (S. parryii g)

Leporids (Lepus americanus)

Birds (Lagopus lagopus)

Western Cordillera f

45 (1)

3,859

Sciurids (O. variegatusi)

Sciurids (Marmota spp.)

Leporids (Lepus spp.)

West Central Semi-Arid Prairies f

7 (3)

2052

Leporids (Lepus spp., Sylvilagus spp.)

Birds

Sciurids (Cynomys spp.k, Marmota spp.)

South Central Semi-Arid Prairies f

1 (1)

200

Leporids (Lepus spp., Sylvilagus spp.)

Sciurids (Cynomys spp.k)

Other mammals

Cold Deserts f

129 (22)

36,641

Leporids (Lepus spp., Sylvilagus spp.)

Sciurids (Otospermophilus/ Urocitellus/Marmota/Cynomys spp.k)

Birds

Warm Deserts f

10 (6)

1,790

Leporids (Lepus spp., Sylvilagus spp.)

Sciurids (O. variegatusi)

Other mammals

Mediterranean California f

8 (3)

904

Sciurids (O. beecheyij)

Other mammals

Leporids (Lepus spp.)

Upper Gila Mountains f

1 (1)

336

Leporids (Lepus spp., Sylvilagus spp.)

Other mammals

Sciurids (O. variegatusi, Cynomys spp.k)

a From Table 2 in Bedrosian et al. (Bedrosian et al. 2017), except for the Southern Arctic, Boreal Cordillera, and Alaska Tundra ecoregions.

b (CEC 2016)

c Poole and Bromley (Poole and Bromley 1988a), North-central Nunavut, Canada (68° N)

d Herzog et al. (Herzog et al. 2019), Seward Peninsula, Alaska (65° N)

e Carol L. McIntyre (unpublished data), Denali National Park, Alaska (64° N)

f See Bedrosian et al. (Bedrosian et al. 2017) for specific data sources, years of study, and study locations.

g Urocitellus parryii, Arctic ground squirrel

i Otospermophilus variegatus, Rock squirrel

j Otospermophilus beecheyi, California ground squirrel

k Cynomys spp., prairie dogs

Table 3

Laying and hatching dates by geographic region of western North America.

Dates are shown as a mean, with a range and a sample size in parentheses.

Location

Laying

Hatching

Source

Northeastern Alaska

16 April (28 March–14 May, 25)

28 May (9 May–25 June, 25)

Young et al. 1995

Northeastern Alaska

(13 April–14 May, 8)

(25 May–25 June, 8)

Ritchie and Curatolo 1982

Nunavut Territory

24 April (13 April–4 May, 19)

5 Jun (25 May–15 June, 19)

Poole and Bromley 1988a)

Seward Peninsula Alaska

19 April (16 March – 10 May, 175)

3 June (30 April-24 June, 175)

ADFGa, unpublished data

Central Alaska

13 April (23 Mar–7 May, 902)

26 May (4 May–18 June, 902)

CLM

East-central Alaska

(4 - 28 April, 17)

(16 May - 9 June, 17)

Kozie and Bouton 1993, Kozie et al. 1993

Northeastern Wyoming

14 March (27 February–13 April, 86)

25 April (10 April–25 May, 86)

Phillips and Beske 1990

Southeastern Wyoming

(20 March–4 April, 7)

(2 May–31 May, 7)

Schmalzried 1976

Northwestern Wyoming

8 March-26 March

19 April-7 May

Preston et al. 2017

Northeastern Colorado

(10 March–1 April, 11)

(21 April–13 May, 11)

Olendorff 1973

Washington

(15 February-17 April, 83)

(29 March-29 May, 83)

Hayes 2015

Southeastern Oregon

5 March (16 February–26 March 22)

16 April (30 March–7 May, 22)

Hickman 1968

Southwestern Idaho

25 February (28 January–24 Mar, 60)

8 April (10 March–5 May, 60)

Hickman 1968

Southwestern Idaho

1 March (3 February–17 April, 1,489)

12 Aprilb (17 March–29 May, 1,489)

USGS, unpublished data

Central Utah (desert)

1 March (16 January – 21 April, 913)

12 April (27 February–2 June, 913)

K. Keller, unpublished data

North-central Utah

(25 February–11 Aprilb, 9)

(12 April–16 April, 9)

Camenzind 1969

North-central Utah

7 March (21 February–2 April, 14)

18 April (3 April–14 May, 14)

Smith and Murphy 1973a

Four Cornersc

2 March (2 February-1 April)

13 April (16 March-13 May)

Murphy et al. 2017

West-central California

27 February (5 February–15 March, 51)

9 April (19 March–26 April, 51)

Hunt et al. 1995b

Central Mexico

10 February (21 January-2 March)

25 March (13 March-14 April)

Cruz-Romo et al.,d unpublished data

Baja California, Mexicoe

11 February (9-12 February)

25 March (24–27 March)

De León-Girón 2017 

a Alaska Department of Fish and Game
b Includes renesting.
c Southeastern Utah, southwestern Colorado, northeastern New Mexico, northwestern Arizona
d Cruz-Romo, J. L., J. J Vargas-Velasco, I.Cruz-Molina, M. D. Valdés-Alarcón, L. F. Lozano-Román, M.Sánchez-Vilchis

Table 4

Brood size of Golden Eagles from studies across North America. The data used in this summary were only from study areas where data: a) were collected for at least three years, and b) brood size was documented when nestlings were at least 49 days of age.

Study area location

Lat/long, center study area

Study years

Years of study

 N broods

3-brood yearsa

Pr. by brood size

Data source

1

2

3

Zacatecas, MX

22.9 N, 102.5W

2015 - 2017

3

10

0

0.75

0.25

0.00

L. Valdes-Alarcón, unpublished data

Baja California, MX

31.3 N, 115.3 W

2013 - 2015

3

22

0

0.65

0.35

0.00

de León-Girón et al. 2016

AZ

34.4 N, 111.8 W

2015 - 2018

4

125

1

0.63

0.36

0.01

McCarty et al. 2015, McCarty et al. 2016, McCarty et al. 2017, McCarty et al. 2018

Northeastern NM

36.0 N, 104.2 W

2006 - 2009

4

86

0

0.67

0.33

0.00

Stahlecker, D. and B. Howe, unpublished data

Navajo Nation, U.S.

36.1 N, 109.2 W

1996-2005, 2010, -12, 2015 -16

14

408

4

0.72

0.27

0.01

Navajo Nation, unpublished data; Stahlecker et al. 2017;

Jicarilla Nation, NM

36.5 N, 107.1 W

2002 - 2018

17

192

3

0.66

0.32

0.02

Jicarilla Nation, unpublished data

Diablo Range, CA

37.5 N, 121.7 W

1994 - 2000

7

184

3

0.53

0.45

0.02

Hunt et al. 2017

Butte Valley, Siskiyou Country, CA

41.9 N, 122.0 W

1985- 97, 2014-16

16

180

1

0.19

0.80

0.01

Woodbridge, B., unpublished data

NE Panhandle, WW, northeast CO

42.6 N, 105.0 W

2014 - 2016

3

20

1

0.70

0.25

0.05

USFWS R6, D. Stahlecker, B. Smith, unpublished data;

Southwestern, ID

43.1 N, 115.9 W

1966 - 2012

47

1140

25

0.43

0.52

0.05

USGS, unpublished data

OR

43.9 N, 120.9 W

2011 - 2018

8

1187

6

0.62

0.36

0.02

Frank B. Isaacs, personal communication

Campbell & Converse Counties, WY

44.0 N, 105.7 W

1981 - 1985

5

331

3

0.54

0.44

0.02

Phillips and Beske 1990

Yellowstone NP, WY

44.7 N, 110.3 W

2011 - 2018

8

40

0

0.85

0.15

0.00

USNPS, unpublished data

Southeastern MT, northern WY

44.9 N, 106.9 W

1975 - 1985

11

127

1

0.54

0.44

0.02

Phillips et al. 1990

Livingston, Montana

45.7 N, 110.6 W

2010 - 2018

9

181

1

0.65

0.34

0.01

R. Crandall, unpublished data; Crandall 2013); Crandall et al. 2015; Crandall et al. 2016

Sainte-Marguerite 3, QC, Canada

51.1 N, 66.7 W

1994, 97-98, 2000, -02, -04, -07

7

22

0

0.82

0.18

0.00

Morneau et al. 2012, Morneau 2008

Kisaralik River, Yukon Delta NWR, AK

60.4 N, 159.9 W

1991-2004, 2012-14

16

99

5

0.55

0.38

0.07

B. J. McCaffery, USFWS, unpublished data

Sustina Watana Hydro Project, AK

62.8 N, 148.4 W

2012 - 2014

3

15

0

0.73

0.27

0.00

ABR, Inc. 2015

Denali NP, AK

63.6 N, 149.6 W

1988 - 2018

31

852

16

0.59

0.37

0.04

C.L. McIntyre, NPS, unpublished data

Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Canada

67.7 N, 115.6 W

2015 - 2018

4

25

0

0.63

0.37

0.00

Lamont et al. 2015b; 2017c; unpublished data; Hawkshaw et al. 2018d

Brooks Range, ANWR, AK

69.5 N, 144.0 W

1988 - 1990

3

20

0

0.78

0.22

0.00

Young et al. 1995

Total/mean

 

 

223

5,2660

70

0.63

0.35

0.02

 

a Number of years observed in which broods of n = 3 nestlings.

b Lamont, M., L. M. Leclerc, and A. Franke (2015). Western Kitikmeot Raptor Survey, July 2015. 35pp. Unpublished report.

c Lamont, M., C. Britt, A. Franke, and G. Roemer (2017). Western Nunavut GOEA Survey Summary Report 15pp. Unpublished report.

Hawkshaw, K. A., E. M. Hedlin, M. Lamont, G. Roemer, L. M. Leclerc, B. Millsap, and A. Franke (2018). Bluenose East Caribou Calf Predation by Golden Eagles: 2018 Annual Report to the Government of Nunavut. 46pp. Unpublished report

Table 5

Home range sizes of Golden Eagles, by age class and averaged across both sexes, from different studies across the world.

Data collection frequencies vary dramatically, from one location every 15 minutes to a set of locations collected every 3-4/days per month. Estimators and data collection approaches vary from study to study, several studies report multiple estimators, we provide here only one per study. Abbreviations for home range estimators are, in order of appearance in the table, kernel density estimator (KDE), adaptive localized convex hull (aLoCoH), minimum concave polygon (MCcP), and minimum convex polygon (MCvP). Dashed lines indicate that the home range estimator is not clearly described.

Age

Region

Estimator

Season

Mean (km2)

Range (km2)

Source

Adult

Alaska

KDE

Breeding

1,409

7 – 29,267

Booms et al, unpublished

 

Mojave Desert, California

aLoCoH

Monthly

308

4.5 – 3,547

Braham et al. 2015

 

Tehachapi, California

aLoCoH

Monthly

104

3 - 650

Poessel et al. 2016

 

Eastern North America

aLoCoH

Breeding

2,758

37 – 14,625

Miller et al. 2017

 

 

 

Non-breeding

1,499

44 – 9,341

Miller et al. 2017

 

SW Idaho

MCcP

Breeding

23

2 – 83

Marzluff et al. 1997

 

 

 

Non-breeding

305

14 – 1,700

Marzluff et al. 1997

 

 

--

Breeding

29

5 – 49

Dunstan et al. 1978

 

 

 

Non-breeding

9

3 – 17

Dunstan et al. 1978

 

 

--

Breeding

44

--

Schueck unpublished

 

 

 

Non-breeding

248

--

Schueck unpublished

 

Columbia Basin

BBMM

Breeding

42

--

Watson et al. 2014

 

 

 

Non-breeding

87

--

Watson et al. 2014

 

Wyoming

--

Breeding

24

--

Platt 1984

 

 

 

Non-breeding

14

--

Platt 1984

 

Western North America

MCvP

Non-breeding

12,693

814 – 46,648

Domenech et al. 2015

 

Sweden

KDE

Breeding

245

70 – 580

Moss et al. 2014

 

Finland

MCvP

Breeding

297

154 – 783

Tikkanen et al. 2018

 

Ethiopia

Spot mapping

Breeding

4

2 – 9

Clouet et al. 1999

 

Scotland

MCvP

Breeding

74

39.7 – 128

McGrady et al. 2002

 

Scotland

Spot mapping

Breeding

30

16 – 47

Fielding and Haworth 1995

Subadult

Alaska

KDE

Breeding

4,184

22 – 16,473

Booms et al, unpublished

 

Tehachapi, California

aLoCoH

Monthly

408

6 – 1,501

Poessel et al. 2016

 

Eastern North America

aLoCoH

Breeding

9,361

68 – 110,446

Miller et al. 2017

 

 

 

Non-breeding

2,874

51 – 27,429

Miller et al. 2017

Juvenile

Eastern North America

aLoCoH

Breeding

4,483

126 – 16,910

Miller et al. 2017

 

 

 

Non-breeding

3,750

97 – 27,970

Miller et al. 2017

 

Tehachapi, California

aLoCoH

Monthly

45

3 - 86

Poessel et al. 2016

 

Southwestern North America

MCvP

Nov-April

2,304

--

Murphy et al. 2017

 

Western North America

KDE

Non-breeding

25,257

4,429 – 69,478

Paulson 2017

 

Sweden

MCvP

Post-fledging

41

3 - 96

Sandgren et al. 2014

Recommended Citation

Katzner, T. E., M. N. Kochert, K. Steenhof, C. L. McIntyre, E. H. Craig, and T. A. Miller (2020). Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.goleag.02