We investigated Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) diet on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, at 35 and 30 occupied eagle nest sites in July 2014 and 2015, respectively. We used 52 prey remains and 456 regurgitated pellets collected from nest and perch sites to identify 727 individual prey items representing 18 prey categories. Golden Eagles in our study area primarily consumed Arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii; 52% of total biomass), ptarmigan (Lagopus spp.; 20%), and waterfowl (15%). Dietary breadth differed between years. We detected 13% more ptarmigan and 12% fewer ground squirrels at perch sites compared to nest sites. Our results suggest that Golden Eagles have a relatively broad dietary niche in western Alaska during the first half of the breeding season.
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Vol. 53 • No. 4