Mariah – Golden Eagle
Received: March 26, 1987
Mariah was hatched at the Davis Raptor Center in April 1972. After leaving the Davis Raptor Center she was flown as a falconry bird and then brought to World Bird Sanctuary on March 26, 1987. Retired from her flying days she became an ambassador for her species and traveled around the United States and educated audiences about Golden Eagles.
She is now blind because of her age, but still maintains her sweet and endearing nature. As a local favorite, visitors are captivated by her majestic size and beauty.
Species: Golden Eagle
Scientific Name: Aquila chrysaetos
Description: dark brown feathers covering the body in both adults and juveniles; adults have copper-gold feathers on the back of the neck; immature birds have white patches under the wings and a white band on the tail, which gradually disappears as the birds mature; the legs are feathered all the way to the top of the foot.
Sex: females usually larger than males
Age: up to 30 years in the wild, up to 50 years in captivity
Weight: 7-13 lbs.
Habitat: mountainous regions, open lands, hardwood forests, deserts
Range: mid-Canada south into Mexico; west from Colorado to the Pacific Ocean; also found in extreme Northeast – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia; winter range may extend as far south as Tennessee and east to the Atlantic; also found on many other continents
Behavior: pairs may successfully nest together for as long as twenty years; nests are built on cliff sides and in trees; constructed of large sticks, nests are lined with grasses, twigs and evergreen; same nest may be used every year with repairs and additions; normally, two eggs laid between March and May which are incubated for 41-45 days; eggs are white with brown or purple splotches; eaglets fledge 9-11 weeks later, but do not reach adulthood for about 5 years
Diet: rabbits, groundhogs, prairie dogs, turkey, grouse, waterfowl, smaller raptors, carrion
Vocalization: series of low, hoarse “kaks;” moderately loud series of sharp, rapid “chips”
- Diving from great heights, Golden Eagles have been clocked at close to 200 miles per hour
- North America’s largest bird of prey and the national bird of Mexico
- Largest Golden Eagle nest was 20 feet tall and 8 1/2 feet wide
- Mating pairs are monogamous for several years or possibly for life.