Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are a large member of the eagle family that can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Though populations have declined or disappeared in parts of Europe, large numbers thrive in Asia and North America.
Golden Eagles are one of the most common and widely-recognized of the birds of prey, largely due to their widespread presence on every continent in the Northern Hemisphere. One of the largest of the eagles, Golden Eagles are the largest raptors, and one of the largest birds of prey, in the Northern Hemisphere. As with most of the species in the Aquila genus, female Golden eagles are notably larger than the males, outweighing them by 25-35% in body mass.
Golden Eagles have dark brown plumage, with lighter golden-brown coloration on their heads and necks, this being the basis of their common name. They nest in high areas, including tall trees, cliffs, and in some cases, human-built structures. They build large nests, and a mated pair of Golden Eagles can claim a territory of up to 60 square miles (155 square kilometers).
Golden eagles eat a variety of prey, most commonly rabbits, hares, squirrels, groundhogs and other medium-sized members of the rodent family, and birds of all sizes including geese and swans. They sometimes also eat fish, and their size allows them to take prey as large as young deer, lambs and kid goats. There is one confirmed report of a golden eagle taking a brown bear cub, and unconfirmed reports of preying on wolves and other canines.