Golden eagles have a worldwide distribution and are found across the northern hemisphere in Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America.
In North America, golden eagles are primarily found in the Western States and Provinces from Mexico through Alaska. There are also small breeding populations in northern Ontario and Quebec, with a wintering population in the eastern United States.
Golden eagles are regular winter inhabitants in the Midwestern United States in the blufflands of southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa, the Driftless region.
Golden eagles utilize a wide range of habitat types, including high-altitude regions, deserts, forests and open areas. In the Midwestern US, they can be observed in the dense forests of the blufflands, often utilizing the open, upland prairies (goat prairies) as hunting grounds.
Golden eagles are terrestrial predators, commonly feeding on mammals, birds and reptiles. They have been known to take prey as large as pronghorn or white-tailed deer. In the upper Midwest, common prey items are squirrels, rabbits and wild turkeys.
You can learn more about golden eagles and have the chance to see them in the wild on a Golden Eagle Field Trip with the National Eagle Center.
Golden eagles in the blufflands
Golden eagles do not breed in Minnesota or Wisconsin, but they are regular winter residents of the blufflands region of southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa; the Driftless region. Our Golden Eagle Project is contributing to the world’s knowledge of this species by surveying the regional population, studying their habitat use and migration patterns.
Learn more about our Golden Eagle Project which aims to better understand the biology, habitat use and management needs of these golden eagles to ensure conservation of these majestic birds.