Wedge-Tailed Eagle

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“Wedge-Tailed

The wedge-tailed eagle, sometimes known as the eaglehawk, is the largest bird of prey in Australia, and is also found in southern New Guinea. It has long, fairly broad wings, fully feathered legs and an unmistakable diamond-shaped tail. Because of both its tail and its size—it is one of the largest birds of prey in the world—it can be identified at a glance as a “Wedgie” even by the non-expert.

The wedge-tailed eagle is one of twelve species of large predominantly dark-coloured booted eagles in the genus Aquila found worldwide. A large brown bird of prey, it has a wingspan of up to 2.27 m (7 ft 5 in) and a length up to 1.06 m (3 ft 6 in).

Young eagles are a mid-brown colour with slightly lighter and reddish-brown wings and head. As they grow older, their colour becomes darker, reaching a dark blackish-brown shade after about ten years (birds in Tasmania are usually darker than those on the mainland). Adult females tend to be slightly paler than males. Although it rarely needs to be distinguished from other Aquila eagles, its long, wedge-shaped tail is unique to this species.

Its range and habitat sometimes overlap with the white-bellied sea eagle, which is similar in size and shape and also has a somewhat diamond-shaped tail, although rather smaller and less distinctive. In silhouette and poor light, the two can look somewhat similar. Closer examination reveals the belly colour or tail size to distinguish the two.

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

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