Golden Eagle – Orion

Name: Orion – Male

Species: Golden Eagle

Liberty Arrival: February 2013/Adult

Injury/Condition: Fractured left wing and aspergillosis

Orion was found on the ground along the I-17 near Flagstaff. In addition, having a fractured left wing, he was also found to have aspergillosis (Valley Fever). Despite the surgery, the damage to his elbow could not be repaired, limiting his flight abilities. The aspergillosis was treated but his breathing abilities were compromised. He could not be returned to the wild, so he became part of the education team.

He is named after the constellation Orion which is the Greek mythological hunter.

Golden Eagle Facts

Description: The golden eagle is one of the largest, fastest, and most nimble raptors in North America. They have dark brown plumage crowned with gold on the back of the head and the nape. Juveniles will have clearly defined white patches at the base of the tail and the back of the wings.

Habitat: Golden eagles prefer to live in open and semi-open country featuring native vegetation across most of the Northern Hemisphere. They are found primarily in mountains up to 12,000 feet, canyonlands, rimrock terrain, and riverside cliffs and bluffs.

Range: Golden eagles are found throughout North America. From Alaska and Canada down south over the Continental US and into Baja California and parts of central Mexico. They are also found in Northern Europe and many parts of Northern Asia

Life span: The oldest known wild-banded golden eagle in North America was almost 31 years. The oldest known captive golden eagle lived to be 46 years old.

Prey: Golden eagles hunt mostly mammals such as rabbits, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, and hares. They will also eat birds such as pheasant, quail, Canada Geese, cranes, and great blue herons.

Nests: These eagles build their nests out of sticks and vegetation, locating them on a cliff or in a tree, or in human-made structures, such as windmills, observation towers, nesting platforms.

Babies: Golden eagles lay 1 – 3 eggs in a clutch. Babies hatch after 41 – 45 days. Youngsters fledge (learn to fly) around 45 – 81 days.