Afghanistan National Bird: The Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is the Afghanistan National Bird, a symbol of power, resilience, and freedom. As an ornithologist, it is my pleasure to share with you a detailed article on this magnificent bird of prey, highlighting its characteristics, habitat, and role in the Afghan culture. Additionally, I will address some frequently asked questions about the Golden Eagle.

Characteristics of the Afghanistan National Bird

The Golden Eagle is one of the most powerful birds of prey in the world, with a wingspan ranging from 1.8 to 2.34 meters (5.9 to 7.7 feet). Adult Golden Eagles have dark brown plumage with golden feathers on their heads and necks, giving them their distinctive name. Juveniles have white patches on their wings and tail, which fade as they mature. These eagles have strong, sharp talons and a hooked beak, perfect for catching and tearing apart their prey.

Habitat and Distribution

Golden Eagles can be found in various terrains, including mountains, forests, grasslands, and deserts. In Afghanistan, they are commonly found in the rugged mountainous regions, where they nest on cliff ledges or in tall trees. These birds are known for their exceptional flying abilities, soaring at high altitudes and diving at speeds of up to 240 km/h (150 mph) to catch their prey.


Golden Eagles primarily hunt small to medium-sized mammals, such as rabbits, hares, and marmots. They are also known to prey on birds, reptiles, and occasionally larger mammals like young deer. In Afghanistan, they play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem by controlling the population of rodents and other small mammals.

Cultural Significance of the Afghanistan National Bird

The Golden Eagle is deeply rooted in Afghan culture and folklore. Its strength, agility, and hunting prowess have made it a symbol of power and resilience. The eagle is also featured in the national emblem of Afghanistan, representing freedom and the country’s indomitable spirit.


1. Are Golden Eagles endangered?

Golden Eagles are listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. However, their populations have been declining in some regions due to habitat loss, poisoning, and persecution.

2. How long do Golden Eagles live?

Golden Eagles have a lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild, although many do not survive past their first few years due to various threats.

3. Do Golden Eagles mate for life?

Golden Eagles are generally monogamous and form long-term pair bonds. They may stay with the same mate for several years or even for life.

4. How big are Golden Eagle nests?

Golden Eagle nests, called eyries, can be quite large, measuring up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter and 1 meter (3 feet) in height. They are constructed with sticks and lined with softer materials like grass and feathers.


The Golden Eagle, as Afghanistan’s national bird, is a symbol of the country’s strength, resilience, and freedom. These majestic birds are not only a vital part of the Afghan ecosystem but also hold cultural significance for the people. By understanding and appreciating the Golden Eagle, we can work together to protect and conserve this remarkable species for future generations.

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