Aquila chrysaetos

Golden eagle

The Golden Eagle is the largest eagle living in Portugal, preferring open, mountainous areas.

Image Image
Height 70 to 90 cm
Wingspan 1,85 to 2,25 m
Weight Female:3,9–6,1kg; Male:3–4,4kg
Lifespan 46 years
Diet Mammals, birds and reptiles
Habitat Forests and mountain areas
Reproduction 2 eggs
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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The Golden Eagle is the largest eagle living in Portugal. It has a strong, curved yellow beak with a black tip. Its plumage is dense and dark brown in adults. The tail is broad, rounded and long. Juveniles are similar to adults but have a white spot on the tip of the wings and a white and black stripe at the base of the tail.



This species has a very characteristic flight, keeping its wings slightly raised, with a "V" shape while gliding. During the breeding season, they build a nest out of sticks and vegetation, which can be up to 2 meters in diameter. After laying, these animals remain in the nest incubating the eggs for 35 to 45 days.



The global population of Golden Eagles is stable, with more than 85,000 adult individuals. However, according to the Red Book of Vertebrates of Portugal, this species is Endangered in our country. The main causes of threat in our territory are: are collision and electrocution on overhead power lines; hunting; the use of poisoned baits; the decline in populations of the Wild Rabbit (food); changes to various traditional farming practices; human disturbance in nesting areas (caused by agroforestry and hunting activities, tourism and leisure) and the construction of infrastructures (dams, wind farms, roads). The lack of environmental sensitivity on the part of the rural population, who see this species as an obstacle to some activities, is the cause of conflicts that lead to the persecution of these animals.

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