Bald Eagles Mate With Golden Eagles

 Bald Eagles Mate With Golden Eagles

Can Bald Eagles mate with Golden Eagles?  That is an interesting question I have seen asked.  But there is no scientific evidence stating either way.  But from what I have read I would say no.  They are both raptors and both eagles, but there is some difference that make me think they would not.

The Size Of Both Bald Eagles And Golden Eagles

                    Bald Eagle                                      Golden Eagle

   The Body of a Bald Eagle adult is 35 to 37 inches with a wingspan of 79 to 90 inches. The Bald Eagle adult weighs between 6.6 pounds to 14 pounds as adults.  The average male weighs about 9 pounds and female about 14 pounds

   The body of a Golden Eagle adult 26 to 40 inches with a wingspan of 5 feet 11 inches to 7 feet 8 inches.  The Golden Eagle adult female weighs 6.6 pounds to 15 pounds. Average male is about 9.2 pounds. The Golden Eagle male weighs 7 to 9 pounds. Also Northern eagles tend to be bigger than southern eagles.

  Both the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle the female is bigger than the male.

Bald Eagles reach adult maturity in 10 to 14 weeks, while a Golden Eagle reaches adult maturity at 8 to 10 weeks.


The Personality Of Bald Eagle And Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles are more solitary birds, tolerating only their mate.  Although highly competitive with each other, Bald Eagles are more social and tolerate other birds. Unless sick Bald Eagles rarely keep to themselves.


Diets Of Bald Eagles And Golden Eagles

Bald Eagles are usually fish eaters, which is why they posse’s larger bills.  Bald Eagles catch fish close to the surface of the water and need to compensate for light refracting in the water to target their prey.  Bald Eagles tend to scavenge and pirate some of their food (not very noble). 

     Golden Eagles eat mammals. Golden Eagles chase down their prey(noble) and have a slightly longer tail for steering. Golden Eagles seem to think their nobler because they chase down their prey, but Golden Eagles have been seen eating road killed deer.

Territories Of Bald Eagles And Golden Eagles

Both Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles defend their territories.

The Bald Eagle is very territorial when it comes to their nesting territory. They select their nesting territory based upon an evaluation of food supply, suitable nesting and perching trees usually large trees in a protected area that is isolated from excessive human behavior near water. These are usually near where they themselves fledged as youngsters. They tend to use tall, sturdy conifers that protrude above the forest canopy, providing easy flight access and good visibility. 


   After they choose their nesting territory, they will mark it by flying together as a pair around their territory.


The sizes of the Bald Eagles territory depend on the abundance of food in that area.  In areas with abundant food resources, a territory might be quite small, with other eagles nesting as close as a mile away.

  Bald Eagles sometimes have a second nest in their territory, they may use one nest for a few years and then move to the second nest for a period of time.

  Bald Eagles return to their nesting territory every year building the nest bigger and more comfortable make enhancements for their eggs. Unless something happens to the tree, or their nest becomes so large that the tree can no longer support the nest 

than they will find another spot in their territory as long there is a suitable spot, if there isn’t a suitable spot in that territory then they will look for another territory.


Golden Eagles  prefer open or semi-open undeveloped habitat. When nesting on cliffs, the selection of the site is based on an exposure that protects the nest eaglets from inclement weather.    Golden Eagles usually nest on cliffs or in trees. They avoid heavily forested and developed areas but have been observed nesting on human-made structures such as observation towers and windmills.

    Golden Eagles Territories are quite large, the territory is an average 7.7 square miles sometimes as large as 77.2 square miles. Territories size is dictated by food abundance and location preference. Small territory sizes are smaller, such as in southwestern Idaho where, possibly due to an abundance of jackrabbits, territories are as small as 1.87 square mile. 


What are Bald Eagles And Golden Eagles Nest Made Of

The Bald Eagle’s nest is 4 to 5 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet deep.  Each year the adult pair will add 1 to 2 feet of new material to the nest.

A Bald Eagle’s nest is constructed starting with large sticks and slowly working in smaller pieces. Sometimes the male will gather the materials and give them to the female to construct the nest.  Sometimes they both construct the nest together as they collect the material as a form of bonding.  The final piece of the nest is the lining made of grasses, corn husks, pine straw and other soft materials, and an egg cup composed of fine plant material to act as insulation for the egg.  In all it takes a couple of months for them to build the nest.  They will build the nest much quicker if the area is getting crowded with other birds.

The Golden eagle nest materials reflect the habitat in which they are built. They are composed primarily of sticks and vegetation, but animal bones, shed antlers and human-made items like wire may be used, and fence post.  They line the nest with locally available vegetation, such as yucca, grasses, bark, leaves, mosses and lichens, or conifer boughs. They often include aromatic leaves, possibly to keep insect pests at bay. Resident birds continue adding nest material year-round, reusing the same nest for multiple seasons and sometimes alternating between two nests. Nests are huge, averaging some 5-6 feet wide, and 2 feet high, enclosing a bowl about 3 feet by 2 feet deep. The largest Golden Eagle nest on record was 20 feet tall, 8.5 feet wide.


Courtships Of Bald Eagles And Golden Eagles

The Bald Eagle mates for life, unless one partner dies early or doesn’t return to the nest, then they will find another mate.




    But when it comes to courtship the Bald Eagles put the wild in wildlife.

     The Bald Eagles engage in several courtship rituals as the pair build their   intimate bond with each other. One of the courtship rituals is one of the most   famous and recognizable of these rituals is the “cartwheel courtship flight,” in         which they call to each other and then fly up high and clasp talons and get 

into a cartwheel spin. Hanging on until the last minute before they hit the ground and let go and fly off. But sometimes they hit the ground.

  A courting pair of Bald Eagles may also engage in a chase display, where they will chase each other before clasping talons and doing aerial rolls. In addition, the birds may also perform the “rollercoaster flight.”   During which one of the eagles will essentially act like a rollercoaster, it will fly high up and then go into a steep dive, and then pull up high again and dive down again.


     The pair will also work together to collect materials to build their nest for their young chicks.

    As the pair of eagles gets close to copulating, they will ramp down their aerial displays and focus on more intimate behaviors, such as sitting shoulder to shoulder, sitting in the nest structure together, preening and calling to on another.   When the female is ready, she will solicit the male to mate with her by calling to him and bowing.  The male will climb on the female’s back and align his cloaca (reproductive orifice) with hers to transfer sperm.  The pair may copulate several times a day during the breeding season, and the male will stay with the female to swap off incubating the eggs and raise the eaglets.


    The Golden Eagle courtship performs an aerial courtship, known as “sky Dancing”. A Golden Eagle’s sky dance includes a series   of swoops and dives.  The male and female might also fly in unison, with the male then streaking ahead and diving back toward his mate then performing rapid series of up to 20 steep dives and upward swoops, beating its wings three or four times at the top of each rise. In “pendulum flight,” the eagle dives and rises, then turns over to retrace its path.

 Single birds and pairs engage in aerial play with objects such as sticks or dead prey, carrying these items high into the sky, then dropping and retrieving them. In addition to attacking prey from the air, Golden Eagles sometimes hunt on the ground, wildly flapping as they run. Mated pairs hunt jackrabbits cooperatively  

during breeding season—one eagle diverting the animal’s attention while the second makes the kill.

Compared to the bald eagle, golden eagles do not repeat courtship displays annually (which is believed to strengthen pair bonds) and rarely engage in talon-locking downward spirals



In my reading this I believe even though there is not scientific proof either way. That the solitary Golden Eagle would not mate with the social Bald Eagle.