Golden Eagle Soars in Western Riverside County

Dec 16, 2021 | MSHCP, News, Species

High above the grasslands, vernal pools, desert scrub, and other beautiful lands of western Riverside County, the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) flies! Like its patriotic cousin, the Bald Eagle, the Golden Eagle can be spotted foraging in all the MSHCP bioregions, feeding on rabbits, hares, and rodents, but eagles also prey on mammals, birds, and reptiles. The species needs open space to hunt its prey before making a direct kill.

A typical Golden Eagle has a wingspan of 6.5 feet and weighs between 7 and 11 pounds. Similar to swans, they are monogamous and can mate for life. The MSHCP includes foraging and nesting areas including historical locations at Elsinore Peak, part of the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness Area, San Jacinto, Temecula Gorge, the Santa Rosa Plateau, and the hills east of Menifee

Equally as majestic as the Bald Eagle, the Golden Eagle is a California Species of Special Concern and is fully protected.  Within the MSHCP Area, 164,390 acres of foraging land were identified for conservation of the Golden Eagle. To date, approximately 113,596 acres are in reserve. Habitat conservation for this species will allow it to remain on the lands in perpetuity. It is the goal of the MSHCP to have 75% of available reproduction at known nesting sites. Successful reproduction is when at least one hatchling survives.