8 Interesting Facts About The Golden Eagle


i have only seen one Golden Eagle, but I would love to see another. I have seen the official hawk counters at the hawk watch excited before, but never so much as when the Golden Eagle flew past, just off the ridge just below eye level.  Perhaps this season will bring the opportunity to see another. Patience…. Patience.

The Golden Eagle is a great curiosity to me. The more that I can learn about the Golden Eagle, the more I will like it. Here is some of the information that I have collected along the way:

  • Golden Eagles maintain territories that may be as large as 60 sq mi.
  • While Golden Eagles usually fly at average speeds of 28–32 mph, they can glide quickly at up to 81 mph and can reach 150 mph when diving after prey.
  • When hunting birds, Golden Eagles may engage in an agile tail-chase (much in the style of the Accipiter hawks) and can occasionally snatch birds in mid-flight
  • The talons of the Golden Eagle exert an estimated 440 pounds per square inch of pressure, though the largest individuals may reach a pressure of 750 psi, around 15 times more pressure than is exerted by the human hand.
  • Certain other animals – birds and mammals too small to be of interest to the huge Golden Eagle – often use the nest as shelter.
  • Golden Eagles who survive to adulthood may live quite long. In some cases, wild eagles can live for 28 to 32 years and individuals in captivity have survived to an age of 46 years.
  • For centuries, this species has been one of the most highly regarded birds used in falconry, with the Eurasian subspecies having been used to hunt and kill unnatural, dangerous prey such as Gray Wolves in some native communities.
  • The Golden Eagle is the eighth-most common bird depicted on postage stamps with 155 stamps issued by 71 stamp-issuing entities

The chart below shows the numbers of Golden Eagles that have been counted at the Picatinny Peak, Raccoon Ridge, Scott’s Mountain, Sunrise Mountain, and Wildcat Ridge hawk watches in Northwest New Jersey.


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