The largest Eagle

Don’t Hold Your Breath’s Bird of the Week XI

This week let’s have a look at the Wedged-tailed Eagle, Aquila audax, the largest Eagle in Australia and the third largest Eagle in the world by wind span and length. Their wing span is 210 centimeters and up to 284 centimeters and their length is 95.5 centimeters.
Adding up all the statistics, the Wedged-tailed Eagle comes in at seventh largest as they don’t weigh as much as other worlds Eagles, with a weight between 2 to 5.8 kilograms.

Wedged-tailed Eagles have that characteristic long, wedge-shaped tail and are found all over Australia, from sea level to alpine regions in the mountains, but they prefer wooded and forested land and open country, generally avoiding rainforest and coastal heaths.

I found this Wedged-tailed Eagle scouting my road looking for a snack.

Wedge-tailed Eagles may hunt singly, in pairs or in larger groups. Working together, a group of eagles can attack and kill animals as large as adult kangaroos. This explains the scientific name of the Wedge-tailed Eagle which means ‘bold eagle’. Under ideal conditions, an eagle can lift about 50% of its body weight.

They are monogamous and pair for life. Wedge-tailed Eagle nests are usually built in the tallest trees, which makes it very important to retain healthy mature forests Australia-wide. Nests are re-used and added to over many years, and can reach 2 metres in diameter and 4 metres deep and weighing about 400 kg are known.

Wedge-tailed Eagles eat mostly carrion (roadkills and other carcasses are readily eaten), however they do include live prey in their diet

A Red-necked Wallaby killed by a vehicle and feasted on by a Wedgie.

They may be the largest fiercest bird but dare to venture too close to a Magpies nest and they get a good chasing away.


20 thoughts on “The largest Eagle

  1. What an amazing bird! From time to time I get to watch some little bird — like a sparrow or red-winged blackbird chasing a raptor — eagle or hawk — away from its nest. And magpies? I’m not sure the raptors even try out at the refuge. The magpies have staked out a territory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are quite wonderful indeed. A lot of little birds have a go. I have not seen one incident where the raptor has actually done anything other than fly higher or away.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That second photo is awesome. At first, I thought you were the snack, but then I realized it’s heading away. It’s so amazing to encounter eagles up close like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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