Aspen Hollow Preserve Golden Eagles

Learn more about the majestic golden eagles that nest at the Land Trust's Aspen Hollow Preserve.


The Land Trust established Aspen Hollow Preserve in April of 2015. The Preserve is home to pine and aspen woodlands, rimrock cliffs, and ½ mile of Whychus Creek and a host of wildlife species including a pair of very famous golden eagles!

The cliffs at Aspen Hollow Preserve provide the perfect place for golden eagles to nest. Photo: Land Trust.
The cliffs at Aspen Hollow Preserve provide the perfect place for golden eagles to nest. Photo: Land Trust.
Each year, high in the cliffs of Aspen Hollow Preserve, the eagle couple Petra and Rocky create a nest to incubate and hatch their young. This year marks the eighth consecutive year the eagles have nested at Aspen Hollow Preserve, and they have a great track record--they have successfully hatched 1-2 eaglets each year.


Golden eagles are one of the largest birds in North America. They are dark brown in color with golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. Females are larger than males, with a wingspan of 6-8 feet. Golden eagles feed on small to mid-size reptiles, birds, and mammals, and will also scavenge. When diving after prey, golden eagles can reach speeds of 150-200 miles per hour.

Golden eagles nest predominately on cliffs and tops of trees. Their nests are huge: 3-10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, weighing hundreds of pounds. They generally lay two eggs that are incubated by both parents and hatch in late March/early April and fledge in early- to mid-June. Between hatching and fledging, golden eaglets depend on their parents entirely for food.

Nesting golden eagles are very sensitive to disturbance. This, combined with limited habitat, means Aspen Hollow Preserve, and other land trust conserved lands, are increasingly important places for golden eagles to nest. That’s also why the Land Trust avoids any activity at Aspen Hollow Preserve during nesting season. We would never want the golden eagle to abandon their nest permanently.

Lucky for us, East Cascade Audubon Society has found a way to let us all watch Petra and Rocky nest and tend their young. A live webcam has been set up 1,200 feet from the nest across the canyon at a nearby neighbor’s home. Thanks to the Audubon Society, the neighbor who hosts the camera, and many volunteers, this is believed to be the only golden eagle nest webcam in the country! It gives us all a great way to observe the behavior of a majestic species like golden eagles without disturbing them. 

We hope you'll join the Land Trust for a free, guided hike at Aspen Hollow Preserve. This year will be the first year we are able to offer these outings, and we look forward to sharing the Preserve and the story of the eagles starting in July when the eaglets have left the nest!