Types of Eagles in Arizona

Types of Eagles in Arizona
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Arizona is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife, including several species of eagles.

The types of eagles in Arizona are recognizable for their powerful talons, sharp beaks, and keen eyesight.

In this state, two main species of eagles can be found: the Bald Eagle\ and the Golden eagle.

Each species is unique in appearance, habitat, and diet, making them an important part of Arizona’s ecosystem and natural heritage.

Read on to know more about these types of eagles in Arizona.

1. Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a bird of prey native to North America.

It is one of the most recognizable birds in the world and is the national bird of the United States.

The species is known for its distinctive appearance, with a white head and tail feathers set against a dark brown body.

Body: Bald Eagles have a large, powerful body well adapted for hunting. They have a wingspan that can reach up to seven feet, which allows them to soar effortlessly through the air.

The feathers of these types of eagles in Arizona are waterproof, which helps them float on the water’s surface when fishing.

Bald Eagles have strong legs and feet covered in rough scales that allow them to grip slippery fish.

Their talons are sharp and strong, used for capturing and holding their prey. Their beak is also sharp, used for tearing apart their food.

Eyesight: These types of eagles in Arizona are adapted to their predatory lifestyle with several unique physiological traits.

They have incredibly keen eyesight, which allows them to spot prey from great distances.

Their eyes contain many more light-sensitive cells than humans, making them extremely sensitive to light.

This keen eyesight is especially important for hunting, as it allows the Bald Eagle to locate prey even when hidden underwater.


Bald Eagles are opportunistic hunters who feed on prey, including fish, small mammals, and birds.

They use their keen eyesight to locate prey and their sharp talons to capture it. They are also known to scavenge when food is scarce.

Therefore, the Bald Eagle is a well-adapted bird of prey built for hunting and survival.

Its anatomy, physiology, and behavior are all designed to help it succeed in its predatory lifestyle.

Its keen eyesight, powerful talons, and strong digestive system make it a formidable hunter, while it’s social behavior and strong family bonds make it an important part of its ecosystem.


Bald Eagles are typically found near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and coastlines.

They prefer areas with tall trees for nesting and can also be found in wetlands, estuaries, and marshes.


These types of eagles in Arizona are social birds that mate for life.

During the breeding season, they engage in dramatic courtship displays, such as soaring together in wide circles and performing aerial acrobatics.

They build large nests, typically made of sticks, in tall trees near bodies of water. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks.

2. Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle (Aquila Chrysaetos) is a large bird of prey native to the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia.

They are well known for their impressive size, powerful build, and distinctive golden-brown feathers on their heads and necks. 

Physical Characteristics

  • Size and Build: Golden Eagles are one of the largest birds of prey in the world, measuring between 31 and 43 inches in length and having a wingspan of up to 7 feet. They have a strong, powerful build, broad wings, and a large, hooked beak. The females are larger than the males, with an average weight of 9 to 14 pounds, compared to 7 to 9 pounds.
  • Plumage: These types of eagles in Arizona are known for their distinctive appearance, with dark brown plumage and golden-yellow feathers on their napes and shoulders. Juvenile Golden Eagles have a mottled brown plumage, which they will shed as they mature into adults. The golden-yellow feathers on the nape and shoulders are important for identification and help to distinguish Golden Eagles from other birds of prey.


The Golden Eagle is most commonly found in western regions and inhabits various habitats, including coniferous forests, deserts, and alpine tundra.

They prefer areas with large expanses of open land where they can hunt prey effectively.

They also prefer areas with perches that provide a clear view of their surroundings, such as rocky outcroppings and cliffs.

Therefore, these types of eagles in Arizona are highly adaptable bird of prey that inhabits a wide range of habitats across the Northern Hemisphere.

They are found in deserts, grasslands, tundra, forests, and mountainous regions and can thrive at elevations ranging from sea level to above the treeline.


Golden Eagles are opportunistic hunters, feeding on various prey, including small mammals, reptiles, and birds.

They are also known to scavenge on carrion or dead animals and sometimes attack livestock, particularly sheep.

They can carry prey weighing up to 4 pounds and are known for their powerful talons, which they use to capture and hold their prey.


Golden Eagles are solitary birds and only come together to mate and raise their young.

They are territorial and will defend their nests from other birds of prey.

During the breeding season, the male Golden Eagle will perform aerial displays to attract a mate, including diving, swooping, and soaring.

The pair will build a large nest made of sticks and lined with leaves, laying one to three eggs.


These types of eagles in Arizona: the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle, are magnificent birds of prey that play an important role in the ecosystems where they live.

They are also valuable indicators of the health of the environment and the success of conservation efforts aimed at preserving these magnificent birds for future generations to enjoy.

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