30-41" (75-104 cm). Dark eagle with golden accents on back of neck that occasionally continue around the face onto the breast. White band on upper tail feathers; white flash in wings at base of the primaries. Yellow feet; gray bill. Immatures have white on tail that ends with a dark bar. Immatures have a distinct white patch at the base of the primaries underneath, and a white base to the tail.
Similar Species- Immature Bald Eagles, Black Vulture, black morph of Rough-legged Hawk
A yelped kyarp-- kyarp-kyarp.
Breeds from Alaska, east through Northwest Territories to Labrador, and south to northern Mexico, central Texas, western Oklahoma, and western Kansas. Also breeds rarely in eastern U.S. to New England. Winters from south-central Alaska and southern Canada, south through breeding range.
Feeds mainly on small mammals, but may also eat insects, snakes, birds, juvenile ungulates, and carrion. Jack rabbits are principal prey in southern Idaho, and this preference is unaffected by changes in prey density.
Builds stick nest on cliff or in tree. Commonly forages in early morning and early evening. Idaho study indicated males capture more food during brood rearing, while females spend more time feeding offspring. Territory size averaged 3276 ha. Positive correlation between breeding success and jackrabbit numbers reported in Idaho, Colorado, and Utah. Species resides in Idaho year-round, although recent studies have revealed some winter birds are breeders from Alaska and Northwest Territories.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Collopy, M.S. 1984. Parental care and feeding ecology of golden eagle nestlings. Auk 101:753-760.