The North American eagles and their economic relations

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Material Information

Title:
The North American eagles and their economic relations
Series Title:
Bulletin / U.S. Department of Agriculture, Biological Survey ;
Physical Description:
31 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Oberholser, Harry C ( Harry Church ), 1870-1963
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Biological Survey
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Eagles -- North America   ( lcsh )
Eagles   ( fast )
North America   ( fast )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Harry C. Oberholser.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 09039662
lccn - agr06001774
ocm09039662
Classification:
lcc - QL155 .A2 no.27
System ID:
AA00021191:00001

Full Text





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I HUME LIBRARY,,

INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
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Bull. 27, Biological Survey, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.


BALD EAGLE (HALI.-CTUS LEUCOCEPHALUS'.
(Drawn by K. Ridgway.)


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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.


U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
BIOLOGICAL SURVEY,
Washington, D. C., July 3, 1906.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith for publication as Bulle-
tin No. 27 of the Biological Survey a report on the North American
eagles and their economic relations, by Harry C. Oberholser, assistant
ornithologist. Widely distributed over the United States and in cer-
tain regions numerous, eagles are of considerable economic impor-
tance, especially as they are always and everywhere flesh eaters. In
some regions they prey upon noxious rodents and render service by
disposing of carrion; elsewhere they destroy waterfowl and other
game birds, as well as lambs, goats, and poultry. In the present-bul-
letin an attempt is made to bring together all important facts respect-
ing their distribution and food habits and to definitely fix their
economic status.
Respectfully, H. W. HENSHAW,
Acting Chief, Biological Survey.
Hon. JAMES WILSON,
Secretary of Agriculture.
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ILLUSTRATIONS.


PLATES.
Page.
PLATE I. Bald eagle (Haliseetus leucocephalus) --..---...............-.. Frontispiece.
II. Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaitos). ----------......-......- ..-..---- 20
TEXT FIGURES.
FIG. 1. Breeding range of the bald eagle -....-..--------------------------. 8
2. Breeding range of the golden eagle---...-......--.-....-.......-....- 22
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Eagles are flesh eaters, and since they consume large quantitiesj
of whatever animal food is most accessible they become at times JI
an economic factor of some importance, though whether beneficial
or injurious in a given region is not always easy to say. In places
overrun by the smaller noxious mammals they frequently perform
valuable service by thinning the ranks of such pests, and the fond-:
ness of some species for carrion is an added source of benefit to man.
But if, perchance, they do render us some good deeds, they offset
these by wholesale destruction of waterfowl and game birds and by '
raids upon the sheepfold, the goat pasture, the cattle pen, and the
poultry yard. Thus a just verdict must pronounce them not far
from neutral in economic influence. Where and when they are doing.
good they ought to be carefully protected; if at any time or place
they become harmful, means should be taken to obviate the damage
they cause; but it would be unnecessary and unwise to declare
against all eagles a general war of extermination, since neutral spe-
cies always bear an important part in the balance of nature, an
equilibrium that man should hesitate to disturb.
BALD EAGLE.
(Haliseetus ieucocepau&.)
The bald eagle, otherwise variously called white-headed eagle,
white-headed sea eagle, and bird of Washington, is of particular inter-
est to Americans as the national emblem of the United States, to
which dignity it was elevated on June 20, 1782. The name 'bald'
eagle, by which the species is almost universally known, originated.
from the white head and the erroneous impression of baldness it
gives at a distance.
This bird measures about 3 or 3J feet in length, from 6 to 8 feet
in extent of wings, and weighs from 6 to 12 pounds. When fully
adult its color is dark brown, with white head, neck, and tail, yellow
bill, eyes, and feet. At least three or four years are required for
the. assumption of this plumage, younger birds being entirely brown-
ish or blackish.
The bald eagle inhabits nearly the whole of North America, from
northern Mexico and Florida north to Ungava and the Anderson
River, west to the mainland of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and
the Commander Islands, Kamchatka.L
a The birds from Alaska and much of British America are considerably larger than those
from farther south, and on this account have been separated as a distinct race (Halimutws
leucocephalu alascanus Townsend).







of its rwW, particularly in the more thickly settled
-the United- Stat4w, the bald eagle is by no me a= commson
the breedmig sewn; but in amt1ions of Florida, on the Ale*
the coast of southern Alaska, British Columbia.,. and
it s"'M to be more numerous than anywhere 'elm.
re northern regions, particularly tle interior of Alaska
horthern Canada, it withdraws for the winter when th', takeo
ftpeze; but elsewhere it seems to have no regular or well-
oration, Othough during the cold season it wanders MOrp
ntly influenced largely by the foodsupply, since it 1*6
to withAand the rigor of'even an arctic climate. ...It io
tune and fluvicoline than 1he golden eagle, preferring tho
of the sescoasto' lakes, and laxger streams, and it 'I's
really common at a "tance from them. It inhabits,. hoy-
4Q1 ]duds of country so long as the main requisite--plenty.4
there, and in mount'sins or on PI&OM, in heavy foreati at.
arren shores it finds a congenial abode.
most circumstances wary and difficult of approach, with, an
for danger and giving suspected things a wide berth,. this
nevertheless, where not molested is often surprisingly tame and
Unprovoked, it rarely attacks man, although sulo
have been reported.. Jt piefers trees.-for and
but in sprmg sometimes, descends to Ade the oakes of iQ'O
xiver.. apparexttly looking for fish. Though nota WS
it may at times be seen in companies of., as'm'a'ny as ten dr
individual& It is evidently not, lacki4g in conitig4l,
ny and the fa-at mating..results in an alliance, defensive ainil
that is -believed to laof as long as both survive; but whe6
Of a pair dies,' the other, mule or female, soon secures another
R,iIortw that at once amumea, the -responsibilities of the interrupted
P-,tisehold. The rtotes of this eagle are few, usually produced in u
but heard at a distance they lose much of their
Oac harsh scream,
le bound. The flight is powerful, capable 6f being indefi-
My sustained- and i's accomplished now-by ate dy wing-ats,
-4. %6W by soaring either on a level course or in great ascending ciro6s
is the habit of most large birds of prey. The bird occasionAll'
",'a plunge from a great height-a marvelous feat, performeg
*ithsuch velocity that 66 eye can scarcely follow the.desw6ent. 154
C_- -4rength the bald eagle is hardly less remarkable thin in power of
..*ftht, and it has been known to carry for 5 miles a. lamb of weight
equal to its own. It. can readily be kept in oonfinement, for it
thriva, on any. kind of meat. or fish; and it sometimes even
no little attachment for OWIM.






This species breeds throughout its range wherever suitable places
exist, and it has been known to lay and hatch eggs in confinement.
In the southern part of the United States, from Florida to Texas, it
breeds very early, depositing its'eggs usually during the first half of
December, exceptionally about the 1st of November, occasionally in


FIG. 1.-Breeding range of the bald eagle (Halixetus leucocepha!us).


January or February; in the Middle States and in California it lays
in February or March, and to the northward correspondingly later-
about the middle of April in southern Alaska, sometimes in May, or
even June, in the Arctic regions.


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eil to repletion when opportunity offers, then perhaps obliged to
4:1c0r days. Lack of food even for a considerable period is appar-
w-yno serious inconvenience, since Mr. George A. Boardman once
ipt an individual without food for thirty-two days. The indigesti-
* portions of its food are ultimately disgorged in the shape of
lets ,that resemble those of owls. One of these pellets, .found by
; tdnvard A. Preboe, of the Biological Survey, in a nest at Mount
lani, Va., some years ago, was almost round, about 1* inches in
Mete, and composed entirely of the feathers of poultry, together
m ..ome mammal hair. The young of this species appear to be fed
: the sII ame kinds of food as are eaten by the adults.
^,';! N, .27-M6-2 *





FOOD.


FISH.
Fish seems to be the principal food of the bald eagle, and when
'obtainable is often preferred to anything else. The dead fish found-
along the shores of sea or lake or river, those that the eagle catches by
its own efforts, and those of which it robs the osprey are alike accepta-
ble. In many places it obtains a good share of its food from the dead
fish cast up by the waves. Mr. William Brewster mentions that in
1879 it was abundant about Lake Umbagog, Maine, drawn thither to
feed on the suckers that in great numbers had died and been left on
the marshes and flats by the receding water, while Audubon relates
that it was frequently seen to pick up catfish heads which were floating
on the St. Johns River, Florida. Mr. C. P. Streater found it common
at Sauk, Wash., in September, 1891, feeding on the dead salmon
(Oncorhynchus sp.) along the shore; and similar observations have
been made by others on the Columbia and other rivers of the Pacific
Coast. Mr. J. C. Hughes records a that along the lower Fraser River
in.-British Columbia he has found it feeding extensively on the
oolachans, or eulachons (Thaleichithys pacificus), a small fish that is
abundant there; and so numerous does the eagle become at times
when the fish are running that Mr. Hughes has on occasion counted
as many as a thousand in a distance of 3 miles.
But the bald eagle not infrequently goes fishing for itself, using a
variety of methods, according to circumstances. Sometimes from
its perch on the summit of a dead tree it launches downward and, fall-
ing like a stone, seizes its prey; sometimes it hunts on the wing, much
like an osprey, and when a fish is perceived poises by rapid wing-
beats, finally dropping into the water even from a great height, and
not infrequently becoming almost completely submerged; then,
again, it varies this last method by flying leisurely along near the sur-
face of the water. Audubon mentions that along Perkiomen Creek
near Philadelphia, Pa., he saw it on several occasions wading in the
shallows and striking at the small fish with its bill; and other observ-
ers elsewhere have noted a similar habit. It has been seen scram-
bling over the ice of a pond, trying to reach the fish below; and Mr.
W. L. Dawson, in his 'Birds of Ohio,' says that at the Licking Reser-
voir, Ohio, it is reported in winter to watch near the air holes in the
ice for the fish that from time to time seek the surface. Mr. J. G.
Cooper has seen it catch a flying fish in the air, and the amazing
celerity necessary for the performance of such an exploit may readily
be imagined.
Although the bald eagle does often fish for itself, it finds a much
easier and more congenial task in robbing the mild-mannered osprey
a Forest and Stream, XVLII, 1882, p. 85.










































iiioj oe andi brant hunting habits of the bald eagle at Uobbs Island on
thii.. Atlantic shore of Virginia near Cape Charles, Mr. William Brew-
|1-sr,:from data furnished him by Mr. Nathan Cobb, gives the following

'. ..t winter the.. Eagles are much more numerous than at any other time of the year,
m':ad my informant has. on several occasions, seen as many as eight at once. At this season
41. wlh....:d ring bays and creeks swarm with Wild-fowl, and upon these the Eagles princi-
i 4lia.Hve. He las never known them to capture fish of any kind, although they not
tiaiteqpntly rob the Fish-Hawk. Geese and Brant form their favorite food, and the
d.dr4im displayed in their capture is very remarkable. the poor victim has apparently
k aiii~ ighteit alchance for escape. The Eagle's flight, ordinarily slow and somewhat.
7;;h.a:w'y, becomes, in the excitement of pursuit, exceedingly swift and graceful, and the
:B leE... ..EuE:E .O.m":. :" V: ..1
,uI:,.. Bulletin Nutt. Ornith. Club, V, 1880, pp. 57-58.
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fugitive is quickly overtaken. When close upon its quarry the Eagle suddenly sweeps i
beneath it, and, turning back downward, thrusts its powerful talons up into its breast. A III
Brant or Duck is carried off bodily to the nearest marsh or sand-bar, but a Canada Goose is .
too heavy to be thus easily disposed of. The two great birds fall together to the water
beneath, where the Eagle literally tows his prize along the surface until the shore is reached..
In this way one has been known to drag a large Goose for nearly half a mile.
A single bird is usually seized at the first attempt, but Mr. Cobb has seen an Eagle repeat-
edly miss his aim when in the midst of a large flock. The very abundance of opportunities
seems to bewilder him, and he thrusts wildly and harmlessly in all directions; but after the
crowding masses have become scattered by his onslaught, a separate individual is selected,
and quickly overtaken and killed.
Although the larger and heavier Water-fowl are more likely to be attacked, the royal
bird seems to find little difficulty in overhauling the swiftest flying Ducks. The latter,
however, often escape -by diving, although in shallow water this recourse sometimes proves
of no avail, as the Eagle follows their course, and seizes them as they rise near the surface.
Under favorable conditions even Grebes are sometimes captured.
In winter shooting the sportsman loses many a wounded Goose or Brant by the Eagles.
They seem fully aware of the advantages to be gained by maintaining a close espionage
upon the gunner's movements, and a bird that falls at any considerable distance from the
stand is often seized anid borne away before it can be recovered.
Ducks of various kinds, by reason of abundance, fall regularly a
prey to the bald eagle, and they are stolen from unwary sportsmen
just as readily as larger birds. Mr. C. J. Maynard mentions seeing
an eagle swoop down and bear away a bufflehead (Charitonetta
albeola) just shot and lying on the water only a few yards distant.
Wounded ducks, with those purloined from hunters, form at some
seasons a good share of its food. It has been seen to drop suddenly
and unexpectedly to the water and catch a black duck (Anaw obscura)
before there was any chance of escape, but usually the duck sees
the eagle as it comes, and then the process of capture is more pro-
tracted. The eagle rushes at its intended victim, which on its
approach dives and swims under water until compelled to return
to the surface for air, when the eagle again swoops down; and this
procedure is repeated until the duck becomes exhausted, is seized,
and carried away. Dr. S. D. Judd has seen a wounded scaup duck
(Fuligula maria) tired out in this way, and saved only by a shot
at the eagle. According to observers, such a chase is seldom volun-
tarily given up until successful. Sometimes two together pursue
the duckl making alternate attacks, whereby the hunt is shortened.
It is, however, quite capable of catching ducks on the wing, apparently
experiencing little difficulty on account of their swift flight.
This eagle is fond also of coots (Fulica americana), and Dr. William
L. Ralph, quoted by Maj. Charles E. Bendire, says that during winter
in the vicinity of Merritt Island, Indian River, Florida, it feeds
largely on the coots which then abound there, hunting them usually
on the wing. One eagle's nest with two well-grown young, visited
by him, contained besides a catfish (Ameiurus) the remains of
thirteen coots. Still other water birds are not infrequently captured

.4i




V
SUM, XAGLIL

aW of tbwe the va mius Idnds of gulls. pr6bably most often.
Smith, writing -in Forest and Streama desexibes an
attack upon A loon (Gai wi.. immff ) in Maine, ostensibly
fiA it had apparently just caught, but possibly with a more
purpose; and Mr. W. W. Worthington gives an instance of
of a Florida: cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritwforidanw)

b*Jd eagle preys to only a limited extent on the native galli-
birds, and then probably for the most par t when other
-of axistenance are scarce. In Alaska it lives somewhat on
(Lagopus),'particularly in winter, when ducks and gem
gooe and fish comparatively hard to obtain. Mr. G. Eifrig
finding a young eagle fighting a wild turkey 'on Knobley
near Cumberland, Maryland. Audubon says that the bald
used to frequent thi roosts and breeding places of the passenger
(Ectopida migratoriw) for the purpose of picking up the
birds that happened to fall from the nests or any old ones
.4bmx*d to be wounded, but that it seldom followed the migrat-
of pigeonse
POULTRY.
Xkanestic fowls ally chickens and ducks,.are sometimes
to* which fact several. write s testify. Mr. Charles F. Batch-
was informed. that in -northeastern Florida the eagle at times
4oxned off poultry, even venturing near, the houses for this purpose.
A Judd found a recently killed Plymouth Rock hen in the
_QI-OpW -of &pair of eagles near. Marshall Hall, Md.; he also states that
tke same place domestic ducks are occasionally taken. Yet this
does not. seem to be a confirmed chicken stealer, and levies on
poukry'only when. most accessible. or whert other supplies faH.
MAMMALS.
Mammals:of many kinds constitute a considerable share of the food,
-but the larger quadrupeds are not often attacked. The four-footed
A;pmal, unless a large one, when struck by the eagle has little chanice
for escape, sin ce one talon usually pins the two fore legs and head
together, while the other, pinions the hind feet, and the beak soon
breaks the sp* ne of the victim. if t4e animal be too large to be
carried away, the eyes are the first: point of attack.
At favorable opportunities this eagle preys upon fawns, and
pressed by.hunger will sometimqs attack a full-grown deer,, particu-
IA rly if the latter be wounded. Remains of a mufe deer (Odoco*aw
40AW) were found by Dr. E. A. Mearns in the stomich of, one from
tfie''Mozollon Mountains,
IQ' Arizona. Mr. E. W. Nelson is, authority
f6i *he statement that in northern Alaska it feeds, at times on young
ot
Vol. I I IY 1875, p. 34.
b &n(fire, Uteffistmim of Kofth Armdean Wr&(lit 1802, p. 2M








Bailey's report that at Irovo, Utah, a farmer found a gray fox
(Urocyon scotti), evidently just killed, which a pair of eagles was
busy eating. Opossums (Didelphis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor)
are sometimes captured, but the nocturnal habits of these animals
probably account for their not being more frequently obtained. Mr.
Thomas Mcllwraith mentions that an eagle shot on Hamilton Bay,
Ontario, had the bleached skull of a' weasel hanging firmly fastened
by the teeth into the skin of itA throat, a grewsome relic of a former
desperate struggle.
Rodents of various kinds form an element of some importance in
the diet of the bald eagle. Where squirrels (Sciurus) are plentiful
they are freely eaten. In California, according to Dr. J. G. Cooper,
large numbers of the destructive ground squirrels, or spermophiles
(Citellus), were formerly killed on some of the ranches, the birds
receiving protection in consequence; and instances were reported
to him of young eagles reared from the nest and kept in a
semi-domestic state, which went out daily to kill squirrels-a hint,
perhaps, for California wheat raisers. Prairie dogs (Cynomys ludcvi-
cianus) are eaten occasionally, but not so commonly as doubtless
they would be were this eagle more numerous in the regions where
these destructive rodents most abound. Mr. William Lloyd reports
visiting a bald eagle's nest containing young, to which the adult
birds were seen to bring 'two prairie dogs; and skins of this mammal
were found among the debris of the nest. Rabbits are frequently
taken for food; rats and even mice occasionally.
DOMESTIC ANIMALS.
Unfortunately the bald eagle's fondness for mammal flesh leads it
to attack domestic animals. This happens rarely to the larger kinds,
though a sickly or weakling calf may once in a while be killed; but
sheep and hogs in some places suffer considerably. Full-grown
healthy sheep are seldom killed, the attacks being confined principally
to sick or weakly animals and to lambs. Alexander Wilson quotes
at some length from Mr. John L. Gardiner, who a hundred years ago
lived near the eastern end of Long Island, New York, showing that this
3agle at that early day had already acquired a fondness for mutton.
Mr. Amos W. Butler mentions" an eagle taken in Knox County,
Ind., in October, 1896, that had killed two lambs. Mr. A. F. Gray
recordsb an instance at North Coventry, hhester County, Pa., of an
eagle that carried off a large lamb and returned the following day for
another; and Mr. J. Otis Fellows tellsc of an eagle that at Hornells-
a Twenty-second Ann. Rep. Dcp. Geol. and Nat. Res. Indiana, 1897,(1898), p. 794. ;
b Forest and Stream, V, 1876, p. 195. .
c Ibid., X, 1878, p. 319. I :









































l;j-imiempung to cross mne umo miver noE iar irom vv neenng, vv. v a.,
sisai:d a great number drifted to the shore, a bald eagle for several.suc-
weemesite days regaled itself on them. Carrion was found in the
A" t'tinnschs "of two eagles examined by Dr. A. K. Fisher; Mr. Horace A.
K i n:fiimehas seen this bird along the Wakulla River in Florida feeding
i the carcass of an ox,. again on that of a sheep; and Mr. L. M.
Siittrnier, while visiting Atkha Island in the Aleutian chain,. Alaska,
lnnd a pair wrangling with gulls and ravens over the decaying
:min ~of a sea-lion. Sometimes it drives away the gathered
vulues or the dogs from their repast and keeps them at a respectful
a "0G. C. E.," Forest and Stream, VIII, 1877, p. 17.
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asW ena zc.f c nVu Cft. a VTL fJ./AJ-LG ILWILLS L L%.A1 0&0LL% A U IPAJ LIAL0 .FL=f. foLJJl
he saw it kill a vulture that for some reason was unable'completely
to disgorge.
Along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, in May, 1833, Audubon found
this eagle in company with crows and ravens feeding on mussels and J
'sea eggs.' Occasionally it seizes prey that it is unable to eat, as in
the following case mentioned by Maj. C. E. Bendire on the authority I
of Mr. Samuel B. Ladd: The ground beneath a nest found by the |
latter gentleman in Lancaster County, Pa., was strewn with land
terrapins in various stages of decay, which the eagles had evidently |
taken to feed their young and. upon more careful examination thrown
out of the nest.
ECONOMIC STATUS. 3:
Since the bald eagle feeds largely on fish of various kinds, it of !
course destroys species useful to man, and to this degree must be con-I
sidered injurious; but the total amount of this harm would seem to :
be comparatively small, for much of its finny prey consists of species
not economically important. On the other hand the devouring of
vast quantities of dead fish, that if left to decay would pollute the
air, is a positive benefit. Its destruction of ducks, geese, and other
water fowl, all of which are available as food for man, is perhaps its
most serious because most frequent fault; but this is to a con- j
siderable extent local, and confined largely to the winter and the
seasons of migration. It attacks gulls and other non-game water
birds so seldom that even were their economic value much greater
than it is there would be little against the eagle on this score. Upland
game birds are not often molested, and song birds are evidently
considered too small to be worth pursuit.
Although not often attacking large animals, it sometimes kills
fawns. This, however, is much more than offset by its destruction
of such more or less noxious mammals as opossums, raccoons, ground
squirrels, prairie dogs, rabbits, rats, and mice.
The complaints lodged against this eagle for the destruction of
poultry and the smaller domestic animals, such as pigs and sheep1
seem to come largely from the southeastern United States, in localities
where the bird is rather numerous, where other food is at times scarce,
and where the domesticated animals are easy of access; but the total
amount of this damage is, comparatively speaking, not great. The
bald eagle is, moreover, almost everywhere somewhat of a scavenger,
a trait that should be set down to its credit.
All things considered, the bald eagle is rather more beneficial than
otherwise, since much of its food is of little or no direct economic

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f6 the Wiht Monais Okahma under dato
2iiii8,iii 194.........r re iu t i s e is a q ienu e -
iiiii I n tatloalty. utatth tmeof is- ist lmstexint s
-o-prisen ereutonb teiniasiwoirzeth al-
forii deortigtiirwriones.Tiiiolagetfethr







(Halietus albicilla.) "
The gray sea eagle is of about the same size as the bald eagle, from
which it differs most noticeably in brownish instead of pure white
head, neck, and upper tail-coverts. Its technical namel-Haliaetus
atlbicilla-means literally 'white-tailed sea eagle,' -and its English
name, 'sea eagle,' originated from its well-known fondness for the
seacoast.
1it ranges over most of Europe, including Iceland and Nova
Zembla, also the greater part of Asia, south to northern India and
Asia Minor and to northern Africa; in North America it occurs,
however, so far as known, only in Greenland, on the shores of Cum-
berland Sound, and on the Aleutian Islands, in the last locality
positively recorded from only Unalaska Island, though doubtless to
be found elsewhere. In Europe there is a more or less well-defined
southward movement in autumn, at least from high northern lati-
tudes, but in Greenland, where this bird is common and breeds, it
remains over winter, and there is no record of its occurrence on the'
American Continent to the southward.

GENERAL HABITS.

Although but locally, and to some extent seasonally, common,
even in the vicinity of the seacoast, where it usually breeds, it is
found also about lakes and rivers, sometimes far in the interior and
occasionally even away from water. It lives preferably about cliffs
or rocky islets, yet where such are not available it haunts the forests
or even the open country. It is fond of lofty perches from which
it can survey the neighborhood for miles around, and here it watches
for prey, which it is said to hunt largely during the early hours of the
day. It seems to be less on the wing than some other eagles and
ordinarily does not fly at so great a height. It is not gregarious; is
wary, though sometimes allowing a close approach; and its note is a
shrill scream. It mates for life, although if one of the pair be killed
the other soon contents itself with another mate. Kept in confine-
ment, to which it can be readily accustomed, it often becomes docile.
In Europe this eagle breeds from February to May, according to
latitude; in Egypt, during December and January; in Greenland,
about May. The nest is placed on a cliff or rock pinnacle, in a tree
or even on the level ground. When on'a rock or a cliff, either of
which seems to be a favorite location, it is often in the wildest part of the
coast and practically inaccessible to enemies. It is a bulky structure,
sometimes 6 or 8 feet in diameter and 5 or 6 feet in height, nearly flat
on top, and is composed chiefly of sticks, lined with twigs, dry grass,
weed stalks, moss, and seaweed. The eggs are commonly two,























04 whale.
b also, principally waterfowl and game birds, are an important
.. of diet. The various kinds of water birds along the coast
.h u ready supply of food, and from vantage point of rock or
9WIi i eagle swoops down on its victims. This bill of fare includes
$avbs, curlews, cranes, grebes, wild geese, coots, ducks of various
weiesw', and indeed almost all kinds of water birds; also bustards are
.m.ei. e ..taken. Meves states' that on one occasion in western
a i.t at a nest containing two young eagles respectively about five
..eght days old, he found remains of the following birds: Two
rBS..S (Smateria sp.), one red-breasted merganser (Merganser
40: dus), one goosander (Merganser merganser), and two long-tailed
:.. ,,e ,(Hareldk hyematls). At certain times, particularlyin winter,
&" .. in certain places, especially in the interior, the sea eagle destroys
i many grouse, pheasants, and other upland game birds, and occa-
u.l : xially, when other food becomes scarce, also crows and small song
h6bds of various kinds. Dr. G. R6rig found remains of an owl in the
'stomach'of one individual. It is known also to carry off poultry
Seven from the vicinity of farmhoUses.
S Though of powerful build the'gray sea eagle is not so bold and
: active as many of its relatives, and apparently seldom attacks large
a:n:iimals. Mr. A. von Homeyer states that on one occasion he saw
it kill a fox, and Dr. G. Rbrig found remains of a fox in one of the
I: eagle stomachs he examined. In winter, however, when in sore need
i,:of food, it has been known to attack a deer, and it sometimes kills
IN yri ng seals. It is fond of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and hares
0"L epe imidua), and particularly in winter feeds upon them to a
!:i:ii c":; OniWderable extent. On the steppes of southern Russia it often
S pounces upon ground squirrels (CideUus citedlus), and in the same
... ... .. ...
.... .. . ,, :: :,,... .. .. ... .. .."














Altogether, the gray sea eagle appears to do more harm than go]od,
and in some localities laws have been passed providing for its Adest
tion. In North America the species occupies an area so smal 4i
so far to the northward that it is not likely ever to become an econo.isi
factor of importance.
GOLDEN EAGLE. A ,
(A uila chrysato) ...... ..
.. .. **
Few if any eagles are better known than the golden eagle, nor mnom f
nearly comport with the idea of strength and independence o|
ciated with such birds. With one possible exception no eagle his
so wide a geographical distribution: it is found at some season*
the year throughout most of Europe, northern Africa, Asia south t&,
the Himalayas, and in North America south to Mexico. It breeds,.:
however, principally in hilly or mountainous regions, preferably Mi4
unsettled parts, and in North America chiefly in the north and west,
but also along the Appalachian Mountain ranges to southern North `.
Carolina.
The adult golden eagle, or 'mountain eagle,' as it is sometimes:
called in the western United States, is about 3 feet in length, 7 feet'
in expanse of wing, and sometimes weighs 12 pounds or more. It
is entirely dark brown in color, with pointed yellowish brown feathers
covering the hind neck, whence the name 'golden' eagle. Young
birds are more blackish and have the base of the tail white, from::
which they have been called 'ring-tailed' eagles, a plumage retained
for at least three years; but the species may always be distinguished
from the bald eagle, the only other eagle of common occurrence in
the United States, by the feathering of the legs, which in the golden
eagle extends quite down to the base of the toes.
GENERAL HABITS.
While it does not winter in the most northern parts of its range,
the golden eagle is not, strictly speaking, migratory, for, being able
to endure the severest cold, its movements into regions not occupied
in summer are more in the nature of wanderings, induced doubtless
Sby search for food, and probably are seldom extensive. It cani


: ,, j .,





Bull. 27, Biological Survey. U S. Dept. of Agriculture.


GOLDEN EAGLE (AQUILA CHRYSAETOS).
(Drawn by R. Ridgway.)


SLATE II.






V




*




we it
an W usll uc
Ithsa tog
hdokr irlsa ra
vopadi ahrasltr id

thuho.sm cain ths
fiqee i h esenUie
hak-m ffwnoeadi er
"Mn 0fra nwni ae o e
"iha h et o ihro h
'Y W lj "r*
lo wrsanwcnot'1
itwl oeie ttc vnmn a
whnedn. incpiiyi a a iiii,ii2
bu ih ipdto uiemhagd
-eo ulei1ns sal nTok s ont

bhr)'fe rcial n!shepae;bti
suha h wq os eino h ntdSae,
7lest i rfrbyi n inaie spo
"t fa mafrhue ntelttd fc n-

'e mdpstdlt n eray nMrho
WVW "i auran ln h ote
bf|srnea aos a o vnJn.Tesm et
yvratr,( h ir eudsubdbti







ited on successive days, but at intervals ot sometimes as much as a.
week. The period of incubation has been given variously as from..
twenty-five to thirty-five days; -probably thirty days is the average
time. The young when first hatched are covered with a white down


110" 100" 90" 80"
FIG. 2.--Breedl-g range of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaitos).


which lasts for several weeks until gradually replaced by the new
brown feathers. The young grow rapidly, but remain a long time
in the nest-from two to three months. They are sometimes sav-
age and while in the aery resent any familiarity, but sometimes may
be handled almost with impunity; probably individual temperament




46=iM INAASU9.
Aor
to do with this difference. Contrary to the many stories
ragwding the fierceneas of the golden eagle in defense ofits
it strangely enough very rarely attacks persons who apprbwh
rob its nest. Indeed, at such times it seems to be actually
or at least quite -Unsolicitous for the safety of' eggs'or
,and at anyone's approach quietly le 'avesthe vicinky. The
tly does not assist in incubation, but shares in brood-
young, and in shaffing them when the heat of the sun becomes
k
FOOD HABITS.
golden eagle is apparently not so swift in flight as the bald.
and less often chases its prey on the wing, preferring to hunt
bysoaring or slow flying and, dropping suddenly upon the
victim. It ilso has favorite perches from which it watches
The two birds oi a pair hunt often together, and many
is thus taken that would escape a single bird. The favorite'
for huntin' is the, forenoon, unless' the day be cool and cloud.
gh miured to long fasts, this species is, lik most other birds' of
voracious' eate -and at every opportunity gorges itself to
U. Birds. are partially or wholly plucked before being eaten;
la*r mammals are' often decapitated and stripped of their fur;
-P6usmall. mammals" are swallowed bones hair and all and the
ftestible arts finlly disgorged in pellets at intervals of a few
P
Asys. The young are kept well supplied with food, often with much
'*4e than they can eat, brought at least two or three tunes a day.
FOOD.
'AAMMALIS.
Mammals form one of the, two. most impprtant elements Pf the
food of this species. The larger kinds appear not to be often attacked
wiless, wounded or sick, but. their young are frequently victimized,
!%is is Paxtictilarly the case with va rious species of deer in both
Aurope and America. Mr. Charles F. Morrison records the killing 'Of
a full-sized black-tailed deer (Odocoile= hemionius) in Montana, And
tere are n'um''erous' accounts by other writers of. attacks on crippled,
weak'or sickly deer. Also the deer that are wounded by hunters
and that escape only to die are often devoured, and, on occasions
like the one 'in NewJersey recorded by Mr. John H. Sage, the eagle
gorges itself to suph.an extent that it can be killed with a club. The
er of fawns killed, particularly 'Where deer are at all numerous,
must be large, for most observers. unite in saying that fAwns form
&u important article of the golden. eagle's food. The young of also
other ungulates, such as antelope, wild sheep; and reindeer, are some-
times taken. The shooting of a mountain goat orother large game
an-imal in a country where this eagle abounds frequently attracts

MJ*





the bird to the spot with the hope of a repast. Foxes are 0occasion-:
ally eaten, as the stomach examinations made in Germanyby Doctor.
Rbrig testify. Audubon says that raccoons are sometimes taken as
food.
Probably no mammals are more frequently fed upon than hares
and rabbits, due no doubt to their abundance, wide distribution,,
and ease of capture. Nearly all writers on the golden eagle mention'
rabbits as a component of its food. Mr. W. Steinbeck reported that
at Hollister, Calif., rabbits formed one of the principal parts of the
bird's diet, as they do in many other localities. These animals are
frequently brought to the yoang, and at almost every aery the skulls
and other bones of rabbits are conspicuous. In Europe the com-
mon rabbit (Oryctolagus cunIculus) is sometimes captured, though
apparently not so often as other species of the family. Mr. E. S.
Cameron, who has recently published a very interesting account of
the nesting and food habits of this eagle, a mentions that on one occa-
sion when one of his birds made a swoop at a jack rabbit and missed,
whereupon the rabbit sought refuge in a prairie dog burrow, the
eagle took up a position near by to await its appearance. While
usually content to secure its prey by stealth, the golden eagle some-
times exerts its powers of flight in open chase. In one instance,
witnessed by Mr. W. L. Atkinson near Santa Clara, Calif., a pair of
eagles pursued a large jack rabbit across a field and caught it after
an exciting hunt. The large northern hares, in both Old and New
Worlds, even more frequently than other rabbits fall a prey to this
eagle. In Scotland, according to Saunders, these animals form a
considerable part of its food, and in many of the deer forests of the
European Continent, at least during some seasons of the year, little
else is eaten. An eagle of this species killed March 19, 1897, at Ait-
kin, Minn., is recorded by Mr. Albert Lanob to have made a meal
off the common white hare (Lepus americanus virginianus) of that
region; and the stomach of a female shot by Mr. J. Alden Loring at
Jasper House, Alberta, in 1895, contained the remains of young
hares (Lepus americanus columbiensis).
In some parts of the western United States, particularly in Cali-
forniaywhere ground squirrels, or spermophiles (CiteUus), are numer-
ous, these animals form an important food supply, and their destruc-
tion is probably the best service rendered by the golden eagle. At
Sargents and Hollister, Calif., according to Major Bendire, they are the
principal regimen, and Mr. J. E. McLellan reported the same condi-
tion in San Mateo County and at Pescadero, Calif. Mr. W. L. Finley,
in a recent article on the nesting of the golden eagle,' has some inter-
aAuk, XX1i, 1905, pp. 158-167, phs. 1I-VI.
bAuk, 1897, p. 317.
c Country Calendar, I, 1905, pp. 41-46.




"'I W 7 7
MAOL24
4baamtiono on the food habits during tho breeding sea'son.
4 pair nw O&Maad, Calif., was kept by-him under our-
Irom the time the emmere laid untill the young had flovMY
t1his period the food apparently consisted- almost entirely
(probably OWUW bwAafi) As many as four of
found lying on the nest at one time, and the remmi about
wV11 -as the pellets cast up, by the young, came sJnwat
th*m ground squirrels. Mr. Finley estimated that at least
hihs were consunied daily by 4his family- of twoyoung
adult eagles, which, seems to be a conservative statement:
am 540 sperinophiles were destroyed during the three months
.oceupied:the nest. In an eagle's aery near Marathofi,
the writer foimd, among .. :other things, a spermophile (OitAkw
parvi&w)-, but in this region, doubtless owing to the greater
of other food, pirtiularly rabbits and prairie dogs, this
is appaxentlynGt so frequently- eaten. Along the Amderson
in Arctic:. North America, however, t4e spermophiles (CWUw
that therp Abound -arid, accordijag to Mr. R. MacFarlane, an
source of food.
'..SquilTels: (Sciurw) are sometimes captured, though by no
as spermophilet. The former. have been found *in
a series by Mr. H. R. Taylor and-Mr..C. Barlow, and Dr.
Merrismrecords. that an Ahert squirrel (Sciurus abM. i) was
in the stomach of an eagle killed in August, 1889, on San
Mountain, Arizor&.
prairie dogs (Cynomys), occur abundantly in the vicinity of
is aery they furnish by, -no, means a small part of the bird's
tJWd,,*the number.destroyed. must -be large. In the aery near
n, Texas, we found. two prairie dogs (Gxynomys lpdovicidntr)
-1 ally untouched, while' bones of the same species were
'recognized in-the-debri scattered on the rocks below. Mr.,Bailey
fomd Donee at a nest near Cuervo, New Mexico. Prof. D. E. -Lantz
informa the writer that in Haskell County, Kans.,,at- a time when
prairie dogs were being poisoned, he has seen eagles, principally of
the present species, come often. to feed on the dead and dying
an=419, but wthout apparent 'injury from the poison.
Mamots, woodchucks, or ground hogs .(Marmota), as they are
variously called according to localityy are not infrequently devoured,
putieularly'in the western part of the United States. Mr. J. AM
pursuing -grown hoary -marmot (Marmoft
4iing saw an eag] a half
vuta) at Henry House, Alberta, in Jul-y,. 1896, and Maj. C. EA
Bond 're records that at-Camp Harney he has found the half.-eaten
ldass -of a yellow-beffied marmot (Mamota flaviventra) in a nest of
this tagle, and has even surprisecL an eagle from the ground as it was
feodingon. one.of these animals it had just killed, Brehmstatesthat










Sv anous smaner mammals, paricuiariy roaents, are aT Lmes eare4..
Mr. Vernon Bailey discovered bones of a pocket gopher (&ratogeoq '
castanops) among those of other animals at an aery near Cuervov'
New Mexico, and these and similar gophers are doubtless elsewhere '
taken. In Europe the native rats (Mus) and in North America the& .
wood rats (Neotoma) are eaten by both adults and young. Mr. R. i
MacFarlane records that in the region of the Anderson River in Arctic
America mice and lemmings form a part of the food, but such ignoble :!
quarry is probably a last resort.
DOMESTIC ANIMALS.
The golden eagle seldom attacks full-grown domestic animals, but
often kills their young, particularly where easily accessible or when
other food is not readily obtainable. Lambs are apparently the most
frequent victims, and although the eagle probably seldom if ever
carries a weight of more than 10 or at most 12 pounds, and the lambs .
taken are therefore of rather small size, the damage to flocks in many
localities, in both Europe and America, is considerable. According
to Mr. William Brewster, young lambs in the valleys of the mountain
region of western North Carolina are subject to the attacks of this
eagle, but the bird is not common enough there to do much damage.
In the West, however-in California as elsewhere-it is very trouble-
some on many of the sheep ranches, and is therefore cordially hated
by the sheep owners, who lose no- opportunity for its destruction.
Mr. E. S. Cameron, writing for the vicinity of Fallon, Mont., states
that the eagles whose nest he watched carried off a number of lambs,
but ceased their depredations after one of their young was killed by a
shepherd. Mr. Cameron states also that some thirty years ago this
eagle was abundant on the western coast of Scotland and that each
pair during the breeding season taxed the sheep farmer one or two
lambs every day. So numerous and so destructive did the eagles
become that a war of extermination was waged against them by the
farmers and hundreds were killed. On the continent of Europe a
single sheep farm is said to have lost from raids of the golden eagle
alone as many as 35 lambs in a single season.
Other domestic animals are not infrequently seized for food.
In some places in Europe and America kidp and even goats are
attacked by this eagle. Calves, too, are sometimes killed, even in
well-settled regions, and Mr. Oliver Davie records that a golden eagle
captured near Columbus, Ohio, had caused the farmers considerable
annoyance in this way. Mr. J. A. Loring in 1892 was informed by,






'Ookmido, IhAt of thage
I' a i A'aw of Ibis young calves, but was beaten off by. the
a*, wmtimes attacked eveni their pens, and Mr.
stUm thitt an eagle was. killed *in White County, InI,
itwas hov, iwing and about to oopdown on a:litter
It we, in a while makes, a meal oft a 409; and it has
to pouaw upon,& Aomestic cat,,but owh aA

-4;0%Aoiij 1666, iatether *iitt m` Ammals, form t& bulk of
eagle's food. The. larger species of birds areAlib onos
oqk4mooly taken, while the smallest song birds `Oas6. Pia,6 ticillv
Upwid game birds appear to bb teferreA to an other
persist6itly hunted.
erent ldnds'of'grous'e, no doubt from their general distri-
Y this ag! ', ar& mu6h
ov& the areas occupifed b e e ought y
'I)otK itL Europe and'America'. Iii eistern 'North I America
grouse (Bon4wa umb&us) suffers, in'A6 West the bliie
obscurw), the sige. wouse Wentro6ercw' UFO-
and espeeiall iheAarp4alleil grouse (Pedioccetes -phasi-
i6d siabs'pe'ei-es). Mr. ltoberf._'Ridgway records an instance
PUMAt of it sa-;*ge' grouse by a' pak' o'f,iglesonl the- East Hujia-
*'mntsins' Xeva&, "in whih the grouse was overtaken iii open
s4ied an d b6hie '&W'a'Y t6 moment it' alighted on'the
A shot a golde"n
Near 1_4ewi*ston, Idaho, Mr. H. W. Her aw
wis eating freshl lalled sharp4ailed grousean'd:.the
Iadian's'told him grouge, were'often killed by" golden
'Di. C. Merrill found a dead, gharp-tailed grouse (Pdioleic"
_COIW Wiy in aft'e ofito
99le s nest near Fort.Custei M.
W Z: S. Cameron, in regard to the nest in Montana previqusli
thathiseag 16s ust have destr ed late numbers of
grouse, since he never visked the nesi without nding
e the young eagles'wefe nearly grown they were'fd
bird. The killing of so in
piehipively on this e any inp
-hreediing seas6n is*' of O'bu-rse'' pa rtio'ularly disa$trous tio Ue
spe-, From what is known, the golden eagle seems to be jmLr A&I
tks d th total'iamuaA destr'uciion must be very, largei
Ot thoi4e are me
AVh -no accurate an' of determinhig its dxtent' Still
44 esUmate of the able of sharp-tailed grouse destroyed
4- prob, number
owing a pair of eagles to every 100 sqx
Ma U lateresfing, All are
AA6 in Monta", which'i's probably conservatife, Aher '*6uld bp
1-;,UD pairs, in the &ate, and should each one of these pairs kill oul
A' y
Ur133g- hich ea
OAO grouse, per day for th three -mont6 d W glets
in the nest, 136,tdOgrouse would be destroyed in Montana
OW perlod alon6, while it is not to te'supposed that at other
Vo










of adults (probably niuch more) or 261,000 young. Adding to this
the adults, there results a total of 391,500-a number that is aston-
ishingly large, yet doubtless well within the truth. The destruction '
of young is of course not as detrimental as that of an equal nu |m:1
ber of adults, for the young have less chance in the struggle for exist- ..
ence, and in the above calculation ample allowance has been made
accordingly.
In Europe the black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) and other species of
grouse, as well as pheasants, are assiduously sought by the golden "
eagle and in some localities their numbers seriously depleted. Mr. I
E. S. Cameron states that on the island of Jura, Inner Hebrides, the
grouse, once abundant on the moor, were so much molested by this i
bird of prey, which hunted them much as does a peregrine falcon,
that they left the place.
In the northern regions ptarmigans (Lagopus) often furnish a par i
of this eagle's food. The red grouse of Great Britain (Lagopu .
scoticus) and the various other ptarmigans of Europe, as well as :'
those of Alaska and Arctic North America, are among the victims.
Mr. R. MacFarlane has found ptarmigans in the nest of the golden
eagle on the Anderson River, Mackenzie, and these birds are
probably often fed to the young.
Wild turkeys, particularly in regions where they are numerous
and not wary, are, owing to their size, attractive quarry for the
golden eagle; and, at least formerly, probably occupied no insig-
nificant place on its bill of fare, to which effect we have the testimony
of Audubon and other authors.
Also bobwhites (Colinus) are sometimes taken, as is evidenced by
a specimen of the golden eagle killed near Wooster, Ohio, which
had remains of one in its stomach. Mr. J. B. Purdy records the
capture of an eagle near Northville, Mich., which was so intent on
its pursuit of a covey of bobwhites that it entangled itself in a thicket
of raspberry bushes.
Wild waterfowl are not so much hunted by the golden eagle as by
the bald eagle, but are, nevertheless, an important article of diet.
Occasionally game of this kind that has fallen to the gun of the
hunter will be seized and borne away before his eyes. Mr. R.
MacFarlane mentions ducks as a part of the regular food in the
region of the Anderson River, Mackenzie, and Mr. L. M. Turner
makes a similar statement regarding the coast of Alaska. Geese
and swans, particularly the former, are the principal other water
birds eaten; but curlews, plovers, and probably similar species, at

". ii




A,-Vt- 7,74,-


**.ohm in, a while AppropriaW. Mr.. GmV A.
es,,*,great blue heron (AMm havJWY atttwked by
'",*%ether to make a meal from it or for. somdk other

vO M ons uds of Wild birds ard known80M16tiEMWto:: bo.
"'A tld, A-- EA, Verrillve6rds that a golden eagle wiiis 'cao'tured
-Havin, Conn., while feeding on a. red-tailed hawk (BWep
ji portiow, of whieh were found in 'Its craw---strange prey
4aglet--Dr. G. Rbrig found remains of --a -ohdrt-eired owl
ampitpinus) 'in the stomach of a golden 6agle from:: Ger-
*Mr. E. S. Cameron says that his Montana eagles, -often
-meadow larks, (Sturnella neg") to the nest for.the yo!ing
Brehm states thit the trustful calandra lark (Me&mocwyPha
-,of Europe is, oci,,asionally killed for food, but this I& prob-
*fault of other- prey.
POULTRY.
occasion the poultry of the farmer is laid under tribute, but
t+
ts of this are -not frequent. Brehm.Wls that in Eurdpe he
wn the aomestic turkey to be attacked even in the poultry
Mr. William Jrewster says that- in the mountain valleys of
North OaroliniL geese are sometimes destroyed, and Dr. E. -A.
*mcords,&n instance of the same near Cold Spring, N. Y.
AMCOMLANEOUS.
'Ame localitieg, particularly in the arid western United States,
;# bf various kinds, particularly the larger ones, are not infre-
killed 19t food. Mr.' E... S. Cameron says that his eag"
numbeftof rattlesnakeff(O-otalus confitcentu'8) to the youzig,
Alid-that once he noticed a bull snake (Pityophis sayi) in the ii6A.
rhi rsttl6ghakes 'were said to be caught by being seized close: behind
4& htaa& after.'W"hich the head- was torn off and eaten and the body
;voybd, to thi aery.
axrion;df iny kind is acceptable, though apparently not usually
to vbeA* 16ther food is plenty: a6d easily obtaiu4d. Mr. Camerio'n
outes t"t the pair of -eagles whose nest was watched by him, never
xo'far as he* was aware, took'camom to the young, althougL thert
*4#, Till aerods caidasges. of tattle scattered about the neighborhodd.,
W-. Nelson, however, has reported this eagle's feedi on the
of'.&; hog M" Illinois; Mr.. C. L. Rawson has record6d its
4.,aheeVlhat had been killed by doo near Salem, Conn.,
#
--461 "'Of E. L. Beal- informs the writer that once 'in Iowa he has
'a its'eating &'.dead cat on.. the prairie. Dr. A.- K. Fisher
#lodtAttriion in, the stomach of A golden eagle' kHled at Gaithersburg
k December, and also in that of one obtained at Whipple

# ... ...
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debris under an eagle's aery at-Cuervo, New Mexico. But possibly the I
most remarkable food that the golden eagle has ever been knkn to
eat is that which Brehm says was once found in its stomach by I'
Doctor Reichenow-potatoes!
In captivity this species readily accepts any kind of fresh meat, o.f
which it will consume as much as two pounds daily. It also ha-a".
been known to eat a piece of cooked beefsteak. Curiously enough, :
some individuals refuse to touch flesh that is in the least degree 1
tainted, or even that has once accidentally been dropped from the |
claws. Chickens, sparrows, and other birds, cats, squirrels, rats, and
other mammals, alive or dead, as'well as raw fish, are apparently
enjoyed.
ECONOMIC STATUS.
The considerable destruction of fawns for which the golden eagle
is responsible must, in an economic estimate, be set down against the
bird. The large number of grouse, ptarmigan, and other similar
game birds killed is a very heavy charge against it, for most of "
these birds, aside from their food value to man, are known to be
of considerable economic importance as insect and weed-seed destroy-
ers. The destruction of water birds, such as ducks and geese, is, in
the golden eagle's case, of much less consequence, since the number
taken is relatively small, but so far as it goes is for the most part an
injury. The song and other birds taken are so few that they need
scarcely more than be mentioned. The very common depredations
upon the young of various domestic animals, particularly sheep,
form one of the most damaging counts against this eagle; and
although lambs seem. not especially to be sought when other food is
plenty and easily secured, the loss at times is so great that means
have to be taken Tor protection of the flocks, usually by killing the
eagles. Poultry, though not infrequently caught, is ordinarily pro-
tected by being near the farmhouse, where the eagle does not usually
care to venture.
On the other hand, much good is done by the often extensive
slaughter of spermophiles in agricultural or grazing localities, where
they are very injurious to crops. The same may be said of prairie
dogs, except that their geographic distribution is much more limited,
and that for this and other reasons they are not so frequently
captured.







raWit6- Oo#oAt in the western United
bemafit, for O&e, often a peat. in tho
rope this esee is coBakUwed beneficial and is pro-
it preys upon the ham that abound them In the
both continents, however, rabbits can not be. called
4ad the eagle is therefore not to be specially commanded
them.
&Is eaten to 'some eietent'by the golden eagle, and
tion is to be treated, in large degree Atleast, as advan-
are nismots, rats, miceY and, rat*nakes. The ea& does
good turn -in disposal of barrion, though this is not a
or frequent occurrence. Good, therefore', in some respects,
in others, the golden eagle must be considered on the -whole
Ulan beneficial.
DMTRUCTION- BY MAN.
# 0014en eagle has few natural e nemm;-s', and when free frow
inUrference usually maintains its numbers. It is, however,
trapped, ta, sheep,, deer or rabbit bait most readily,
by almost any kind of carcass, and so unsuspicious
for a meal that.often several may be caught successively
Sax" place by the same bait. In fact, it frequently waJks
set for other things and Mr. E. S. Cameron states that
some years ago the traps laid for wolves all but extermi-....
golden eagle over a large area. It mi not easy, to shoot,
xft&ngly wary under most circumstances. It is further-
fly not affected b ted bait and there are lacking
a to show" that, such means would be efficacious in its
Ok
prize the wing and tail feathers for their war bonnets
the, eagl whenever opportunity offerS. In some sections
in California, it suffers to no little extent from the raids
collectors-all the more from its habit of returning each year
same loc-ality. In some European countries bounties are paid
dwtruction of the golden eagle, but 'in many the States
Urion and in some of the provinces of Canada it is now pro-
814DUg with the bald eagle. Its general extermination is by
_41,
40 V"Mms to b'recomminded, for in places where it does ,age I
,, ja#y maj be kept n check by local means.


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