By ELLERY SNYDERMAN, age 10
The golden eagle is a highly protected wild bird and a cousin of the U.S. national animal, the bald eagle. It lives in the temperate climate of western North America, including Mexico, Alaska and western Canada.
Golden eagles were heavily hunted until the 1960s by ranchers who thought the eagles were killing their livestock. The ranchers thought that the eagles were big, scary animals, and they killed about 20,000 of them. In 1962, golden eagles were added to the Bald Eagle Protection Act, which became the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Today, the golden eagle is still one of the United States’ most protected animals.
Did You Know?
- The golden eagle has many gold-colored feathers. That is how it got its name.
- The golden eagle mainly eats small animals such as rabbits and ground squirrels.
- The golden eagle weighs approximately nine pounds, but can weigh up to 14 pounds!
- The golden eagle’s wingspan is really long! It is the fifth-longest in the eagle species and can range from 5-foot-11 to 7-foot-8.