Photo by Bob Gress
Length: 27 - 33 inches
Wingspread: 72 - 87 inches
Weight: 7.5 - 14 pounds
The golden eagle is the most abundant eagle in the world and is the largest avian
raptor on North Americas western prairies. Its eyesight is estimated to be about 8
times better than that of humans. It often hunts from the air and can make spectacular
stoops, or dives, after running prey. Under the best of conditions, it is only capable of
flying with prey that weighs about half its own body weight. Pairs will often remain
together for many years. If one dies the other will readily accept a new mate. Wild eagles
may live over 20 years.
The golden eagle is found through the northern hemisphere. In North America it is
commonly found in the western states. Although it may be seen statewide it is more
commonly encountered in western Kansas.
Golden eagles feed primarily on mammals. Favorite prey include jackrabbits,
cottontails, prairie dogs and ground squirrels. Occasionally they catch snakes and will
also feed on carrion when available.
Other Kansas Eagles
Text: Bob Gress and Vanessa Avara
Web Design: Jim Mason