The cry of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is memorable – the golden eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the northern hemisphere. It’s also one of the largest birds in North America – with wings that are longer than a red-tailed, hawk.
These birds are fast – with a top speed of up to 200 miles per hour and they are very nimble. They get their name from the lustrous gold feathers on the back of the head and neck. While popular in North America – they are beloved worldwide – and always have been – even in ancient times. Falconers in medieval Europe referred to golden eagles as royal eagles. In Greek and Roman mythology, the golden eagle was the messenger of the gods.
And if you listened to last week’s show, you heard me talk about the bald eagle – America’s national symbol. Well it turns out, the bald eagle almost didn’t make the grade. The golden eagle was also considered (as was the turkey.) The bald eagle won out because it is exclusive to North America. But the golden eagle’s wide range brought it other accolades. Even though it’s not the American symbol, it still reigns as the most common official national animal in the world. It’s the emblem of Albania, Germany, Austria, and Kazakhstan.
These powerful hunters often work in pairs while hunting: one eagle drives the prey to its waiting partner.The talons on their feet kill and carry the prey.
Next week, I’m going to talk about one of the most common birds in the United States. It’s one of the most counted and seen birds and yet, it’s also one of the most popular of the backyard birds. Be sure to listen to find out more.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Avian Beauty. Thanks for listening. Be sure to visit avianbeauty.com for more bird inspiration and information and please consider subscribing (for free) to our blog and podcast. I’m Scott Bourne. Happy birding.
Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.
Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.