In our folklore, the Golden Eagle is also called ”kokko”. Its area of distribution covers the Arctic parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In Finland, the species occurs mainly in Northern Finland, and it is estimated that there are currently 330–460 pairs of Golden Eagle breeding in Finland. Of the known territories for Golden Eagle, 90 per cent are in the reindeer herding area, and some 80 per cent in Lapland. Golden Eagle is one of our largest bird species: its wingspan is almost two metres. The species attain sexual maturity only in the age of 4–5 years, and the plumage of eagles of different ages look a little different. Adult eagles are sedentary birds, whereas young eagles tend to migrate southward from their birth places.
The Golden Eagle has several nests in its territory, and each year it selects the one that is most suitable for breeding. The nest is a huge structure, up to two metres wide and three metres high. Most of our country's eagle nests are in pines and nests on the cliffs are found in only 14 territories. As there are fewer trees with solid branches, nesting has become more difficult for Golden Eagles. Man-made artificial nests have improved the situation. Breeding begins early in the spring and the chicks hatch as early as May. The Golden Eagle is prone to disturbances during the breeding season. In the past, the eagle has been one of our most persecuted bird species because of the damage they cause to reindeer herding, for example. Today, the situation for the Golden Eagle has improved because of a damage compensation system based on territories. In general, the greater the amount of Golden Eagle in each territory, the higher the damages paid.
Text: Jukka Jokimäki & Marja-Liisa Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki
Read more about Golden Eagle:
Flying Arctis -frontpage.