GOLDEN EAGLE

Biological classification

Class (Aves)

Order Accipitriformes

Family Accipitridae

Appearance

Golden eagle is one of the largest birds of prey in Ukraine. The length of its body is 76 89cm and a wingspan ranges from 190 to 227 cm. The weight of an adult bird is 2,8 - 4,5kg. Females are larger than males. The body color of adult birds is dark brown, and the head and back of the neck are reddish with a golden hue. In the wild live up to 40 years, in captivity up to 50 years.

Area and habitats

These birds nest in the forests and mountains. Breeding area covers North Africa and large parts of Eurasia and North America. In some areas birds lead a sedentary life. In Ukraine these birds nest in high areas of the Carpathians (Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Chernivtsi and Transcarpathian region). During migration and wintering are found throughout the whole territory of our country.

                                                                                                  Diet

Golden eagle feed on birds and mammals: hares, small rodents, foxes and domestic animals (dogs, cats), ducks, gulls, herons, crows, geese, ducks and others. Also, the eagle eats dead animals mainly in winter. Golden eagles can fly hundreds of miles while foraging for their food. Golden eagles are excellent hunters. They often work in pairs while hunting: one eagle drives the prey to its waiting partner. The talons on their feet kill and carry the prey, while the beak is only for eating.

Breeding

Come to the places of nesting in February. Each nest is made out of heavy tree branches and grass, and built on a cliff face or in a tree. The nest is used for many years. The eagles add more material to the nest each year, so it gets bigger and bigger. Monogamous species. A golden eagle pair stays together for life. The female can lay from 1 to 3 white eggs in a clutch, with two being the average. Egg dimension: length - 7.8 cm width - 5,6-6,4 cm. The incubation stage lasts for 43 45 days. Eaglets appear in May June. The oldest chick often attacks and sometimes even kills its younger sibling, so usually one chick survives. Eaglets stay in the nest for 2.5 3 months and leave it in late July August. Migratory birds from northern Europe appear in Ukraine in late September November. Golden eagles don't reach their full adult plumage until they are four five years old when they become mature.

Golden eagles in Kyiv zoo

There are 2 eagles in the Zoo. One of them was rescued and adopted in 1998. Another one was rescued and adopted in 2000. Both of them are from Zhytomir region.

They live in enclosure, located at the lower park in a newly built complex "Raptors." It has a length of 12 m, width - 4 m, square - 48 sq.m. and a height of 5 m. Birds are active in the daytime.

The diet of eagles in the Kiev Zoo consists of meat and beef hearts, chickens, rats. Daily, one bird consumes around 800 grams of food per day.

GOLDEN EAGLE