Although the bald eagle often gets all the attention, the Golden Eagle is actually one of the biggest raptors in California.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, golden eagles are found throughout North America, but they are often thought of as a California Bird. Golden eagles either live in the state year-round, or migrate to California for the winter.
These massive and Majestic birds are a beautiful sight to behold, and their large wingspan and sharp talons allow them to hunt a shocking variety of prey.
Videos of captured golden eagles attacking and carrying off full-grown foxes. They are also known to attack and kill sheep and other farm animals.
Videos have even surfaced of golden eagles attempting to attack children. In most cases, they aren't able to cause serious harm. However, the attacks are often surprising.
Despite their amazing hunting abilities, most golden eagles actually don't eat live prey. Here in California, they're known to forage on carrion and dead animals that are killed on the road.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that the total number of golden eagles in California is unknown. It's thought that pesticide use, the loss of habitat, lead poisoning, and other human causes is reducing the golden eagle population. Wind turbines may also kill the birds.
The next time you Marvel over a bald eagle, remember its powerful and majestic cousin as well. Golden eagles may not appear on our money or make as big of a splash, but they are amazing and beautiful residents of California.