Golden Eagles are widespread year-round residents of the Navajo Nation. They are the largest predatory birds here. They mostly nest on ledges and potholes on high cliffs overlooking desert grasslands. Golden Eagles are very territorial, aggresively defending their nesting cliff from intruding eagles. Since Golden Eagles are birds-of-prey, they feed exclusively on other animals. A recent Navajo Nation study found that most of their diet is jackrabbits and cottontails, with prairie dogs to a lesser amount. Golden Eagles will feed on almost anything they can catch though, including snakes, other birds, and small- to medium--sized mammals.
Golden Eagle is called "Atsáshzhiin" in the Navajo language. Golden Eagle is a very sacred and important bird in the Navajo culture. They should be respected and greatly honored. It is said that a Navajo person can keep an eagle feather only after it is properly blessed by a medicine man.