• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Golden Eagle


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Golden Eagle is one of the largest, fastest, nimblest raptors in North America. Lustrous gold feathers gleam on the back of its head and neck; a powerful beak and talons advertise its hunting prowess. You're most likely to see this eagle in western North America, soaring on steady wings or diving in pursuit of the jackrabbits and other small mammals that are its main prey. Sometimes seen attacking large mammals, or fighting off coyotes or bears in defense of its prey and young, the Golden Eagle has long inspired both reverence and fear.


Golden Eagles are not big talkers. Their occasional calls tend to be high, weak, and whistled. You’re most likely to hear these birds during breeding season, when nestlings’ high-pitched begging calls can travel a mile or more, and adults announce food deliveries with a wip or a wonk.


Call a high yelp.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

You Might Also Like

Get the Lead Out: Ingesting lead bullet fragments has a devastating effect on wildlife—and humans. Story and photos in Living Bird magazine.

Golden Eagles and Us: Story and photos in Living Bird magazine.



Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.