The Golden eagle is the second largest bird of prey in Ireland.
Males and females are identical in appearance, having dark brown plumage covering their body, with a golden sheen running down the back of their head and neck. Juveniles look slightly different by having a large white rump and tail feathers. Through moulting each year, the young eagles will lose these feathers with new ones coming through, eventually ending up with full adult plumage after about 4-5 years.
Most populations of Golden eagles are sedentary whereas some will migrate when food supplies decline in their home range. They are usually solitary birds that will join their partner in the breeding season.
Young individuals, that have not yet met a mate, may gather in groups during times when food is abundant.
The female is the main incubator of the eggs but once the chick has hatched both parents will bring food to the young who will begin to fly at approximately 10 weeks of age.
As a predator, they play a role in maintain populations within the ecosystem and therefore ensuring a healthy balance in the environment.