Wildlife in Italy: Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos

Wildlife in Italy: Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Falcoformi
Family: Accipitridae
Kind: Eagle
Species: A. chrysaetos L., 1758

Once the golden eagle lived in the temperate areas of Europe, in the northern part of Asia, in North America, North Africa and Japan. In many of these regions, laquila is present today only on the mountain ranges, but in previous centuries it also nested in the plains and forests. It is absent in Iceland and Ireland where an attempt to restocking is underway with 35 birds released since 2001. In Italy it is present on the Apennine ridge and on the Alpine arc, in reliefs of Sardinia and Sicily. The northern limit of the eagle range is the Svalbard Islands.
It frequents a wide range of open or semi-wooded environments and its plasticity from the point of view of ecological needs has allowed it to colonize a wide range both in Eurasia and in North America; in Italy it is present on all the most important mountain ranges (Alps, Apennines, Sardinian and Sicilian mountains). The Valle dAosta specifically offers the Aquila very vast suitable territories; only the most anthropized areas and the snow deserts can be considered unusable by the species, while the forests, even if too dense to allow hunting actions, represent fundamental reservoirs of prey species. Each valley in the region hosts at least one breeding pair and in total there are at least 35 permanently occupied territories, with a possible maximum of 40. The density of the couples (large territories on average less than 80 km²) and the average distance that separates the sectors of nesting (less than 7 km) can be defined as optimal at alpine level and a further significant increase in the species is not currently conceivable.

Golden Eagle (photo

Golden eagle (photo

Distinctive characters

Length: 74-87 cm
Wingspan: 200-230 cm
Weight: 6-7 kg (the female is bigger)

It has long, relatively narrow wings, with a linear silhouette and showy shrinkage at the attachment. Medium length tail, protruding head. Dark brown coloring with nape and upper part of the head more or less yellow-gold. Young people with numerous white spots on the feathers. Primary remiges during the planing very enlarged.


Depending on the area where it lives, Laquila Reale feeds on small and medium sized mammals (rabbits, small fallow deer, squirrels, marmots) or birds (grouse, partridges, pheasants) or reptiles.
The mating takes place in March and is preceded by a spectacular ritual known as the dance of the sky, which for several days sees both individuals engaged in spectacular aerial evolutions that the female often performs in inverted flight while the male seems to swoop over them, with exchanges of prey in flight or laps of death. Faithful throughout life, mating always takes place on the ground.
The spawning (usually two) occurs at a distance of 2 - 5 moon days from the other.
The eggs hatch after about 45 days of hatching.
After two months the chicks become eagles and begin to practice flying on the edge of the nest.
The first flight stands out after about 2 months and at 6 months they become independent.
In this period they are brought by their parents out of the boundaries of their native territory and around 3 - 6 years old they will form a new family unit.

Video: The golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos Χρυσαετός (January 2022).