104 Golden Eagle
(Aquila chrysaetos )


80-93cm. Very large, long-winged eagle with typically long tail, about as long as width of wing. Silhouette typical also in wings being slightly narrower at base and inner ‘hand’, producing S-curved rear edge, most pronounced on young birds. Flight powerful, often 6-7 rather deep, slow wingbeats relieved by glide of 1-2 sec., then further short series of beats, etc.; flightpath usually straight. Head-on silhouette when soaring, and often when gliding, typical, with wings raised in shallow V; at times also glides on flatter or somewhat arched wings. Common to all plumages is rather dark brown colour with yellowish-brown or light rufous-brown (due to variation, not age criterion) nape-shawl.


In Hungary the Golden Eagle is rare breeder. Since late 1980s some pairs regularly bred in the Zemplén Mountains. Primarily a late summer vagrant and winter visitor in small numbers. (August-March), mainly in the Northern Uplands and in the Great Plain.

104 Golden Eagle pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008