From nearly 600 prey remains collected in 95 nest visits from extreme eastern to extreme western Mongolia, we found that Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) consumed a high percentage (20%) of predatory birds and mammals. The prey delivered to nests was also very diverse. As expected, the eagles preyed on hares (Lepus tolai, 12%) and marmots (Marmota spp., 38%), but 15% of their prey were foxes (Vulpes spp.). We identified 30 species of birds, including six species of raptors, among the prey remains. Surprisingly, ground squirrels (Spermophilus spp., 5%) were underrepresented and even in vole (Lasiopodomys and kin) irruption years/zones, voles and other small rodents (4%) were seldom found in the nests. Loss of rodents and other prey due to aerial broadcasting of rodenticides likely affects Golden Eagles in Mongolia, as do persecution, mortality from electrocution, and removal of eagles for falconry and tourist trade. All these need careful quantification.
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Vol. 54 • No. 1