The Golden Eagle’s habitat is one that is hard to define, since they occupy such a large area and some have been known to migrate with prey.   Migration for these animals is rare and only in areas where prey is scarce. They can be found Permission from Frank Hildebrand Photographyacross the Northern United States, Europe, Asia, and North African countries in Alpine and pre Alpine regions.  Click here for a distribution map.  Select groups in especially cold climates like the Mongolian Mountain ranges. Specifically, these Eagles prefer to nest in the Alpine region (Pedrini & Sergio, 2002).  This is because of the protection the Alpine region offers the Eagles’ nests, which they build in large trees or the rocky cliff sides.  By building nests just above the tree line in Alpine areas these Eagles know when something is approaching long before it can get close. This gives the eagle time to react, whether it is prey or predator.  This perch not only allows for protection but for scouting prey, sitting far above where it would be nearly impossible to detect. 

According to Pedrini and Sergio “[The Alpine] provides higher prey availability and habitat sustainability resulting in higher breeding success”.  The denser the prey is in an Eagle’s territory, the more offspring they successfully raise.   In the pre Alpine, Aquila chrysaetos prefer to occupy space that is far away from the effects of human development, and is open or slightly wooded (Pedrini & Sergio, 2010). Golden Eagles need large plots of hunting ground that does not cross into another Eagles territory.

The open or slightly wooded landscape allows for the Golden Eagles to use their well-suited adaptions to locate and attack prey, and these lightly wooded conditions are usually where most common eagle prey resides. The open terrain also leaves few places for prey to hide or escape the ruthless diving attacks and strength of Aquila chrsaetos. Click here to see adaptations. European farmland has recently been deserted, which has lead to the spread of woodland forest territory and the decline of Golden Eagle hunting ground (Pedrini & Sergio, 2013). For more information on habitat loss see interactions.


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