August 17, 2015 – Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Requested by: bar-v-bar
Found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, these large eagles eat mostly small and medium-sized mammals, though they are able to kill prey as large as deer. Occasionally stealing from other birds, they also eat carrion and fish. They build large nests, up to six feet (1.8 meters) wide and two feet (0.6 meters) high, from sticks and other plant materials. Sometimes they also use bones, antlers, wire, or fence posts, and line the nests with vegetation and aromatic leaves, which may repel insects. Pairs frequently reuse a nest for several years. Very fast and agile for such a large bird, they can reach nearly 200 miles per hour (321 km/h) while diving and may play with objects in the air, dropping them from a high altitude and catching them. The most common national animal, they are Albania’s, Germany’s, Austria’s, Mexico’s, and Kazakhstan’s.