Saturday, 6 June 2015

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Adult Golden Eagle (subspecies A. c. homeyeriat Patones, Spain - June 2015

Local Name (Spain): Águila reál ("Royal Eagle")
Featured Subspecies: Aquila chrysaetos homeyeri
Weight: 4.2kg
Length: 66-102cm
Wingspan: 180-234cm
UK AMBER LIST  / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Golden Eagle is a large species and massively widely distributed across the Northern hemisphere and as such culturally fairly ubiquitous as an emblem in Northern Hemisphere cultures, being popular in heraldry, falconry, mythology and ritualism across North America, Europe and Asia.  While not necessarily the largest eagle, as a comparatively versatile species it can be found in a broader range of habitats than specialized larger species, although human encroachment has tended to force it to more remote locations dues to its need for large territories where it can hunt.  I first saw a Golden Eagle when I was young when I went to see the sole remaining bird in England, and while there is a full sustainable population in Scotland (and indeed, Japan), I finally caught up with this species in the hills North of Madrid, where this species is fairly scarce.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aquila
Subspecies: A. c. chrysaetos, A. c. canadensis, A. c. homeyeri, A. c. kamtschatica, A. c. daphanea, 
                   A. c. japonica

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding species now limited to Scotland (440 pairs)
 - The single resident bird seen at Haweswater in the late 90s, as of 2016, it is missing and so the species in probably extinct in England.
SPAIN - Rare and local resident.
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: A single individual seen flying over aPatones 

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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