The Golden Eagle is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. The American golden eagle is found in deciduous forests from Alaska to central Mexico and from New England to the southern Appalachians. It is named for the golden markings on the nape of the neck. The body and legs are dark brown. The golden eagle is 30 to 41 inches (76 to 104 cm) long and has a wingspan of 76 to 92 inches (1.9 to 2.3 m). The female is usually smaller than the male.The golden eagle spreads its talons to grasp prey.
Like other species of eagles, the golden eagle builds a large nest of sticks in a tall tree or on a rocky ledge. The nest is about five feet (1.5 m) high and seven feet (2 m) across. The same nest is often reused each year although it is usually repaired and enlarged. The female lays two or three whitish eggs with brown blotches. The young hatch in about four weeks. The eaglets are fed by both parents and remain in the nest until they are able to fly, about 9 to 12 weeks later.
The harpy eagle, found in lowland forests from southern Mexico to Argentina, is blackish-gray with a divided black crest resembling a pair of horns. Its talons, more powerful than those of any other bird of prey, are used to capture birds and sloths, its main sources of food. The monkey-eating eagleof the Philippines is grayish-brown with stiff buff-colored feathers that stand up on the crown and nape of the neck. It lives in dense forests and feeds on monkeys, birds, and squirrels. Along with the harpy eagle, it is an endangered species. The crowned eagleof Ethiopia is bluish-black. Its double crest of white feathers is highly prized in Africa for use in ceremonial headdresses. The crowned eagle feeds on small antelopes and birds.The wedge-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in Australia.
Harpy eagles are named after the “flying monsters” that appear in the myths of ancient Greece and Rome. There are eagles in the myths of many different groups of people, including the Native Americans. Perhaps this is because eagles are among the largest and most powerful birds of prey.
Harpy eagles of the South American rain forests are some of the biggest and strongest eagles in the world. Harpy eagles weigh more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). When they spread their wings, their wingspan measures 7 feet (2 meters). Harpy eagles can kill animals as heavy as sloths or monkeys.