The golden eagle

Aquila chrysaetos

With its impressive wingspan of over 2 meters, the golden eagle is one of Sweden’s largest birds. Only the white-tailed eagle reaches the same size.


With its impressive wingspan over 2 meters, the golden eagle is one of Sweden’s biggest birds of prey. Old golden eagles are brown, black and grey colours, while younger eagles have white patches on their wings and a white tail with a wide and black band at the edges. Nearly all golden eagles have a yellow or bright reddish-brown neck. The wingspan can be up to 225 cm and they weigh between 3-7 kg.

The golden eagle mainly hunts hare, small rodents, squirrels and chickens, but it also eats carcasses. They mate for life and live in the same nest for many years as long as it isn’t disturbed. The female incubates the eggs and she usually has 1-2 per litter.

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Class: Bird

Scientific name: Aquila chrysaetos

Conservations status: NT

Size: 80-93 cm long, 65-100 cm tall, with a wingspan of 150-225 cm.

Weight: 3-7 kilo. The female is slightly larger than the male

Number of eggs: 1-2

Did you know that

The Gotland tribe increased from about 10 pairs in the 1970s to about 50 pairs. This makes Gotland one of the most densely eagle-populated areas in the world.

During the period of 1993-2011, the Natural History Museum received 503 dead golden eagles. Out of these, 13 were poisoned, 20 had been intentionally killed by humans, 133 had been killed by traffic and 86 had died from illness and starvation. 84 had been killed by collision with wires and other electrical damage, five by wind power and 16 by other accidents. The ongoing strong expansion of wind power in Sweden is a major concern.

After long rambles, young golden eagles appear to establish themselves primarily in the vicinity of the area where they were born, which limits the genetic exchange between different areas.

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Conservation status

Near threatened
Near threatened

Read more about our other animals