Amicus is a male golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). He came to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital in the late summer of 2006 from northeastern Washington. He was hatched in the spring of 2006. Amicus is completely blind, and the cause is unknown. The most common theories include heavy metal poisoning, birth defect, or injury. Due to his blindness, he will stay in captivity for the rest of his life. “Amicus” is Latin for “friend.”
Facts about the golden eagle
Golden eagles are found mostly in the western half of North America. They prefer areas with open land near mountains or cliffs, but they can live in almost any habitat, from Arctic tundra to southern deserts. The feathering all the way down their legs allows them to survive in colder climates.
Human activity is the greatest threat to the golden eagle. Automobile collisions, power line electrocutions, and illegal poaching are major causes of death. These birds are protected by the U.S. Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. There are substantial penalties for intentionally harming an eagle, although most perpetrators are never caught. Golden eagle populations have declined, but they are not currently endangered.
Hunting & diet:
Mating & nests:
Golden eagles usually nest on cliffs but may also build a large platform nest on a building, tree, or other structure with a commanding view of the surroundings. They will use sticks to build the nest and softer vegetation to line the inside. Eagle nests average 5-6 feet across and are often the focus of “nest cams.”