Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
Wedge-tailed Eagle, Wyperfield, Victoria, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image Australia
February / April 2006

The Wedge-tailed Eagle is distributed throughout Australia and into the southern tip of New Guinea. It is found in a wide variety of habitats from forest to semi-desert. We even saw one flying over the sea at the Coorong (photo 4).

Immature Wedge-tailed Eagle, Wilpena Pound, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image It is unmistakable because of its size - it is the largest bird of prey in Australia with a wing-span of 2.5 metres - and its distinctive wedged tail. Adults are darker while immatures and sub-adults are browner with varying degrees of golden-brown or straw-yellow on the back of the neck and the wing-coverts. It takes about 5 years to reach maturity.
Immature Wedge-tailed Eagle, Wilpena Pound, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image At dawn and dusk they can be seen hunting on their territory at tree-top level but during the day, when not perched, they tend to soar and glide at much higher altitudes.

They have been persecuted in the belief that they kill lambs but, while they may kill unhealthy lambs, they usually eat carrion, snakes, birds and mammals such as kangaroos, wallabies and rabbits.

Immature Wedge-tailed Eagle, The Coorong, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image
Wedge-tailed Eagle, Wilpena Pound, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image
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