2 Types of Eagles in California

Hi there! In this article, I’ll be discussing the two types of eagles that can be found in California.

These magnificent birds of prey are a common sight in the state’s wilderness areas, and I’m excited to share some interesting facts and insights about them.

Whether you’re a birdwatcher, a nature enthusiast, or simply curious about these majestic creatures, you won’t want to miss this informative piece.

Let’s get started!

Golden EagleGolden Eagle
Bald EagleBald Eagle

Types of Eagles in California

1. Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle is one of the most majestic birds of prey in the United States, with a wingspan of up to seven feet and a weight of up to fourteen pounds. 

It is a powerful creature that has been revered by Native Americans for centuries.

In California, the Golden Eagle is one of the most majestic birds of prey and can be found in mountainous and coastal areas.

The Golden Eagle is a large raptor with a wingspan of up to seven feet and a weight of up to fourteen pounds.

It has a brown body with a golden head and neck. 

Its wings are broad, and its tail is long.

The Golden Eagle is well adapted for soaring and can reach great speeds when in flight.

It has sharp eyesight and can spot prey from great distances.

The Golden Eagle is found in mountain ranges in California, including the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range, and the Coast Range. 

It is also found in some coastal areas.

It prefers open areas with plenty of space for soaring and hunting.

It can also be found in areas with tall trees for nesting and roosting.

The Golden Eagle’s diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as squirrels, rabbits, and marmots. It will also eat birds and reptiles, as well as carrion.

It hunts by soaring high in the sky and then diving down to snatch its prey.

The Golden Eagle can be found in many areas in California, including the Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada, and the Coast Range.

It is also found in some coastal areas. 

The best way to see one is to look for it in open areas, such as mountain ridges and meadows, where it can soar and hunt.

Fun Facts

  • The Golden Eagle is one of the most powerful birds of prey in the world. It can reach speeds of up to 150 mph when in a dive. 
  • It is one of the longest-lived birds of prey, with an average lifespan of up to 25 years in the wild. 
  • The Golden Eagle is a symbol of power and prestige in many cultures, and some Native American tribes consider it a messenger of the gods.

2. Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles are majestic birds of prey that are native to North America and can be found in many parts of California.

These large birds of prey have distinctive white heads and tails, and their wingspan can reach up to seven feet.

Bald Eagles are a symbol of power and strength, and they are often seen soaring high in the sky or perching atop tall trees. 

Bald Eagles are large birds of prey that typically measure between two and three feet in length, with a wingspan of up to seven feet.

They are primarily dark brown in color, with a distinctive white head and tail. 

The beak and feet of the Bald Eagle are yellow, and they have sharp talons to help them catch and carry prey.

They also have excellent eyesight, which allows them to spot their prey from great distances.

Bald Eagles can be found in many parts of California, particularly near rivers, lakes, and other areas with plentiful food sources. 

They prefer to live in areas where there is plenty of open space for them to soar and hunt, and they also like to roost in tall trees for protection.

Bald Eagles typically build their nests on the tops of the tallest trees in their habitat.

Bald Eagles are carnivorous predators, and they primarily feed on fish and other small animals.

They are also known to scavenge carrion and occasionally eat waterfowl eggs and nestlings. 

While they do hunt small mammals, Bald Eagles will usually rely on fish as their primary source of food. 

Bald Eagles can be seen in many parts of California, particularly near bodies of water.

They can often be spotted in open fields or along the shorelines of rivers and lakes. 

They are also known to inhabit forested areas, and they often perch on the tops of trees. 

Fun Facts

  • Bald Eagles are found throughout California, but they are most commonly seen in the northern and central parts of the state. 
  • The Bald Eagle population in California has been steadily increasing since the 1970s due to conservation efforts. 
  • In 2014, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that there were more than 1,000 Bald Eagles in the state. 
  • The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States, and they are a symbol of pride and power. 
  • Bald Eagles can live up to 30 years in the wild, and they mate for life. 
  • Bald Eagles become sexually mature at the age of four, and they usually lay two eggs per nest. 
  • The Bald Eagle is an excellent hunters, and they often use their powerful talons to catch and carry prey. 
  • Bald Eagles typically build their nests in tall trees, and they can be up to nine feet wide and four feet deep. 
  • Bald Eagles are powerful fliers, and they can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. 
  • Bald Eagles are very vocal, and they often make loud, high-pitched calls to communicate with each other.


In conclusion, the two types of eagles found in California, the bald eagle and the golden eagle, are both awe-inspiring creatures that play an important role in the state’s ecosystem.

While the bald eagle is a symbol of American strength and resilience, the golden eagle is revered for its hunting prowess and regal appearance.

Whether you’re lucky enough to spot one of these majestic birds in the wild or simply appreciate them from afar, it’s clear that they are an integral part of California’s natural beauty.

By learning more about these fascinating creatures and advocating for their protection, we can help ensure that they continue to thrive for generations to come.


Where can I find bald eagles in California?

Bald eagles can be found near bodies of water such as lakes and rivers, especially during the winter months when they migrate to California from northern regions. Popular spots to see bald eagles in California include Lake Tahoe, the Sacramento River, and the Klamath Basin.

Are golden eagles endangered in California?

While golden eagles are not currently listed as endangered in California, they are still protected under state and federal laws. Loss of habitat, hunting, and other human-related activities have impacted their populations in some areas.

How can I help protect eagles in California?

You can help protect eagles in California by supporting conservation organizations that work to preserve their habitats and educate the public about their importance. Additionally, follow guidelines and regulations for observing eagles in the wild, such as maintaining a safe distance and avoiding disturbance to nesting sites.

Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

Leave a Comment