By Jarkko Järvinen (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jarkko Järvinen (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Range
Breeds in hilly and mountainous areas of Alaska, most of Canada, the Western United States, and Northern New England. Seen in far western or eastern Virginia during migration. This eagle generally does not nest in Virginia.

Size
Length          27-33 inches
Wingspan     72-87 inches
Weight          6.6-13.5 pounds

Habitat
Mountains, alpine meadows, open country in the West.

Diet
Mammals, almost exclusively; known to have taken lambs and small deer. In the West, marmots are a favorite prey.

Characteristics
Looks like a big, dark-brown Red-tailed Hawk; stronger, but not as maneuverable. Has golden hackles, and legs are feathered to the toes. A bird of the wide open spaces and mountain heights.