Wedge Tail Eagle
Scientific name: Aquila audax
• With a wingspan of up to 2.74m, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle is the largest raptor in Australia.
• Generally it feeds on rabbits, wallabies, small kangaroos and, where these are scare, various ground dwelling and swamp birds and reptiles.
• Wedge-tailed eagles usually spend the hours around sunrise and sunset viewing their territory from the treetops. They hunt early, and for the rest of the day they either sit on exposed perches or circle and glide in the air.
• In earlier times, the wedge-tailed eagle was considered to be vermin or a pest because of its reputation as a killer of lambs and sheep. People were encouraged to kill them, and it has been estimated that at one stage 30,000 wedge-tailed eagles were destroyed in a year. The wedge-tailed eagle is protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Act. It is illegal to kill, trap or poison them.
• Wedge-tailed Eagles use very traditional nests almost always in very large eucalypts sheltered from the wind. They are very shy nesters and will often desert their nests if disturbed by land clearing, particularly early on in the breeding season, which is August to January.