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Golden Eagle
(Aquila chrysaetos)


Picture of bird
© Christian Artuso

The Golden Eagle breeds throughout the mountains of western Canada and more sparsely across remote parts of eastern Canada. Canadian populations are best monitored through continent-wide Christmas Bird Count data, which indicate there has been little change since about 1970. Most Golden Eagle deaths are attributed to human-related incidents.



Listing of the main designations for the species.
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies / Population
COSEWIC (Canada)Not at Risk1996 
IUCN (Global)Least concern2009 
Wildspecies (Canada)Secure2010 

Population status

Population status relative to circa 1970
Geographical areaStatusReliability
CanadaLittle ChangeMedium

Population estimate


Distribution maps


Migration strategy

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility (based on Canadian % of global population)


Conservation and management

It is estimated that 73% of Golden Eagle deaths are human-related. Causes include electrocutions, collisions with wind turbines, vehicles and wires, poisoning and shooting (Kochert et Steenhof 2002). Ingestion of carcasses containing lead shot causes widespread subclinical lead poisoning that likely weakens or kills many eagles (Kochert et al. 2002). Nesting success rates in northern Canada may be linked to the population cycle of the snowshoe hare (Sherrington 2010). Habitat loss and degradation is likely not a critical problem on the Canadian breeding grounds, but can be serious on the wintering grounds in the western United States (Kochert et al. 2002). Because of their reliance on mammals as prey, Golden Eagles were less affected by DDT contamination than bird- and insect-eating raptors in the 1950s and 1960s (Kochert et al. 2002).


Bird Conservation Plans

Information on this and other species has been compiled by ecoregion through the Bird Conservation planning process. For more details, click Bird Conservation Plans.