UTAH (ABC4) – Utah has a new animal to represent the majesty of the Beehive State.

The golden eagle has been officially named Utah’s state bird of prey.

The official declaration was signed into law by Gov. Spencer Cox with S.B. 116 on Wednesday during a legislative session.

Currently, Utah’s state bird is the seagull, but the distinction for the golden eagle is the “bird of prey” label.

“These raptors are quite remarkable, and it’s exciting to see them be recognized for the important role they play in our ecosystems, ” DWR Avian Conservation Program Coordinator Russell Norvell said.

Golden eagles are found across western North America, with most populations concentrated in Utah year-round. These birds are typically spotted in mountainous regions and remain a common Utah sight.

These birds boast a wingspan of up to seven feet and can fly up to 198 miles per hour, experts say. They can also soar across the sky for hours at a time.

Golden eagles mainly feed on small mammals including rabbits, marmots and ground squirrels. Insects, snakes, animal carcasses and other birds also make up their diet.

These majestic birds mate for life and will use the same nest for many years, experts say. Golden eagle nests can be found on cliffs or large trees and will contain eggs laid anywhere from late February to early March.

With two eggs laid at a time, baby birds are cared for 30 days by their parents and can start flying after 60 days.

Recently, the brine shrimp was proposed as Utah’s state crustacean during a legislative session in 2019. The Gila monster was also named the official state reptile during that session.