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Golden Eagle

Copyright Barbara Samuelson 2004
Golden Eagle (Aquila Chrysaetos) was photographed in Sonoma County . These birds are found in mountainous areas as well as open lands. They hunt mostly mammals and birds often in spectacular stoops from the air. They are related to the buteos but much larger, weighing up to 10 lbs. Their name derives from the golden nape prominent on the back of the neck. They can be mistaken for Turkey Vultures but are much larger and more solid in their flight, as opposed to the Turkey Vultures whose flight is characterized by a rocking from side to side. Golden Eagles can often be found in a kettle gaining altitude with Turkey Vultures.

This Golden Eagle has stooped upon and killed a Great Egret, while being mobbed by Red-winged black birds.

The Golden Eagle now takes its meal off into a nearby field to cache still being mobbed by red-winged black birds. This was one of two adult Golden Eagles that had nested nearby and produced two eaglets.


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