Live in all habitats
Variety of colors/morphs
Most common hawk in N.A.
Tolerant to humans &
2014 Red-tailed Hawk in the
Red-tailed pair nesting in Central Park, NYC.
Not tolerant to humans and
Nest in cliffs or tall trees
with unobstructed views
Avoid urban habitat
Disturbances can lead to
2011 USFWS population
survey estimated 30,000
G.E. in lower 48
70% of deaths are due to
Records describe a pair of eagles
nesting on Wildcat Mountain in
the 1920’s and 30’s.
Biologists built a blind on the cliff side. The X marks the nest locaiton.
Development occurred over time and encroached on the eagles’ home range. Rabbit and
prairie dog colonies were destroyed – their main dietary components. Reduction of food
along with development pressures are likely what caused the eagles to leave.
The cliffs were uninhabited by eagles for roughly 70 years.
Why did they return?
2010 eagles returned –
not to the same nesting
site. The one used in the
1920’s was too close to
homes and human
2000 conservation survey labeled
the cliff area as “best wildlife
habitat”. From 2006-09 trail
systems were built around the
Trail follows the
road to provide the
least amount of
habitat and wildlife.
In designing the Douglas County
East West Trail, the trail runs
along Monarch Blvd and as far
away from the cliffs as possible to
reduce disturbance. This concept
is why we don’t create a mass trail
system in the Backcountry.
Conservation efforts in mind
Part of the Backcountry Wilderness Area
8,200 acres of conservation space
Federally Protected by Law
Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act – 1962
Illegal to “pressure, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill,
capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, disturb”
As simple as a change in heart rate
As obvious as fight or flight behavior
Consider that when you’re hiking,
whether you realize it or not, you’re
influencing the behavior of the
wildlife around you. If you spook a
rabbit, you’re affecting the behavior
of a prey species which in turn
affects the behavior of the predator.
Eagles are not the only bird species
in the area that are sensitive to
humans. Mountain bluebirds and
spotted towhees are sensitive to
human activity which is why we see
them in the Backcountry versus your
Trespassing into the protected area is a felony offense and
one can be fined up to $250,000 and face jail time.
Talon, the 2014 eaglet
When we obey the laws and keep conservation in mind when designing communities and trails, we see
results. The eagles stay and successfully raise their young. The bonded pair that now nests on Wildcat
Mountain has nested there for 5 years and had two successful clutches. It takes around 40-45 days to
We banded the eaglet through a licensed bander. By three weeks old, their legs are as thick as they will be
as an adult making it safe to band. This allows researchers to collect data on the age and origin of the
individual. Notice from the sterile egg just how much the animal has grown in only three weeks.
Eagles often have
They will be sexually
mature by four years
Golden Eagles primary
food sources are rabbits,
hares, and prairie dogs,
but they are capable of
killing large prey such as
domestic livestock, cranes,
Because they eat mostly mammals, Golden Eagles have
largely avoided population declines due to pesticides unlike
other fish or bird eating raptors such as the Bald Eagle.
A female eagle weighs 30% more than a male, but still only checks in
between 9-15 pounds. With a 7 foot wingspan, this large predator has
been clocked diving at 200 mph.
Their talons can be up to 3 inches long and can
exert 450-750 psi of pressure when squeezing.
Golden Eagles can live 20-25 years in the wild and become sexually mature
between ages 4-5. They are monogamous and will often return to the same
nesting site each year. Females typically lay 1-3 eggs each year.
70-80% of Golden
Eagles die before
age 5. This is
mostly due to
We’re proud to take part in protecting these
beautiful and powerful creatures.
Colorado Nature Photography, by Andi
The Raptor Education Foundation
The Price Family
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Laura Meyers Photography
Drew Martin Photography
The Dirt Doctor
Fort Collins Science Center
Edwin Giesbers / Minden Pictures
National Park Service