Endangered Sunday: Wedge-Tailed Eagle

also, allegedly, known as the Eaglehawk, although that’s not a term I ever heard as a youngster. Official Status: Threatened (and Endangered in Tasmania)

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax). There was a pair of these majestic birds flying low over fields at Kangaroo Flat, Victoria. They perched in a tree for a while and then took off and circled right over my head. I love the way that the eagle is looking at me...by mrdehoot on Flickr

Wedge-tailed Eagle

On our recent drive back from Canberra to Sydney, we saw one of these gliding on a distant thermal. It was glorious for the brief time that we could see it from our car on the motorway. I wish we’d seen it as close as this.



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5 replies

  1. Beautiful!
    There seems to be a breeding pair that lives somewhere near my parents’ place, they’re aloft a fair bit. It’s always amusing to see the other birds chasing them down (presumably defending their own nests): a flock of galahs or crows can actually make a fair bit of trouble for an eagle.

  2. We see them very occassionally. Haven’t seen one for a while, or any hawks for that matter.

  3. We used to sometimes see these around when I was growing up (rural area.) To be honest though, I think I’ve only seen one probably three or four times. Hawks were more common, but still fairly rare. My father told me he remembered many more ‘Wedgies’ in his youth, but local farmers hunted them agressively back then, fearing they would kill lambs. So sad to think of them being shot. What beautiful creatures.

  4. Delurking just for this post:
    In WA, if you drive north from Kalgoorlie along the Goldfields Hwy, or turn left at Leinster onto the Sandstone Rd, or indeed go along any of the more major (read: have bitumen) roads in that area, you are pretty much guaranteed to see at least one wedgetail feeding on roadkill. You may also see at one that is roadkill; they stand their ground as you drive up to them, not wanting to leave what is their carcase, thank you very much. This means they don’t take off until quite late, and of course they are big and rather slow to get off the ground; drivers will slow down to try and avoid them, but sometimes one will get hit.
    Once I saw one on the side of the road feeding, and as I approached it took off across the road, then swerved and did a 180 degree change of direction across the bonnet. I didn’t hit it, but I swear its wingtip must have brushed the side mirror, it was so close.
    (And I’ll take this opportunity to say thank you for the many interesting links you post. They make my sometimes slow workdays pass much more quickly.)

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