Golden Eagle Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

There are many different kinds of eagles soaring through the sky, and golden eagles are one of them. Come learn about how they got their name, where they are found, how big they can get and some other neat facts about these birds.

What is a Golden Eagle?

Looking up in the sky, you see a large bird with long wings. As it gets closer, you notice that it has lighter feathers on its head, sharp claws and a pointy beak. It seems to be floating and gliding in the air, maybe looking for a snack. You are watching a golden eagle!

Golden Eagle in Flight
Golden Eagle in Flight

Golden eagles are large brown birds with lighter, golden feathers on their head and neck. They are the biggest bird of prey in North America and can grow to be more than three feet long and seven and a half feet wide from wing tip to wing tip. That is wider than a typical minivan!

Golden Eagle with Feathers Covering the Legs
Golden Eagle with Feathers Covering the Legs

Golden eagles got their name because the feathers on their head and neck are a lighter, golden color than the rest of their body. They are also one of only a few birds that have feathers that cover their legs, down to their feet, like fluffy leg warmers!

Golden Eagle with Light Golden Brown Feathers
Golden Eagle with Light Golden Brown Feathers

Golden eagles are carnivores, which means they eat meat, and are very good at catching it. They can soar around eighty miles per hour in the sky and nosedive at almost 200 miles per hour when they are hunting. Using their spiky claws like hooks, they snag animals like rabbits, squirrels, fish and other birds for snacks. Sometimes, they even kill and eat bigger animals like deer, coyotes and bobcats!

But they aren't opposed to an easy meal, and will eat animals that are already dead, like going to a restaurant when you don't feel like making dinner.

Where do Golden Eagles Live?

In the wild, golden eagles live in North America, up through Alaska and down into Mexico, as well as Asia, Europe and northern parts of Africa. It is even Mexico's national bird and is on their flag.

Golden eagles like more open surroundings like mountains, deserts, grasslands and forests near open land, and like to build their giant nests high off the ground in places like treetops and cliffs. Both the mom and dad golden eagle take turns sitting on their eggs until they hatch.

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