Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
131207_LWM-307
Aquila chrysaetos

Golden eagles are among the largest birds in North America. With wingspans of 6 to 7 ½ feet, they soar easily on warm air currents. When hunting, they fly close to the ground, flushing out small mammals such as ground squirrels and rabbits.

The nearby Diablo Range is home to one of the highest concentrations of wintering golden eagles ever recorded!

Our resident golden eagle Topaz was found up by Lake Topaz near Lake Tahoe with a wing injury that prevented sustained flight. She joined our ambassador team in 2005.

Female eagles are larger than males. We determined that Topaz is a female based on her size (an average of 11 pounds!), and she confirmed that when she laid an egg. She has laid at least 3 eggs each year since she came to us! Topaz starts singing her “egg song” in January and usually begins laying in late February. The eggs are unfertilized and Topaz does not focus on laying on them for very long. This natural process is an important part of life and keeps her mentally and physically healthy.

Topaz’s favorite pastimes are going for walks with keepers in our Nature Cove and Raptor Redwood Grove spaces and taking baths! She is currently learning target training which will help her trainers encourage her to move to new and exciting spaces!