Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Activity Patterns of Golden Eagles in San Benito County, CA


The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is a top predator of lagomorphs and ground squirrels in open, mountainous habitats in western North America. It is currently listed as a species of concern by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. Understanding the diel and seasonal use of water could enhance conservation of this important species. I quantified the visits (N=402) of golden eagles to 13 water sources using camera trap photo data obtained at the Ventana Ranch, San Benito County, California. Frequency of occurrence was analyzed by the Chi-square test to confirm diel and seasonal activity patterns. Golden eagle activity peaked between 10am and 5pm PST; there were no nocturnal visits to water sources. Bathing and drinking were noted at 32% and 14% of visits, respectively. Visits were rare during the Spring-breeding season and peaked in the hot months of July and August when both adults and juveniles were detected.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View