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Information for Wedge-tailed eagle - Aquila audax

Eukaryota >Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Accipitriformes > Accipitridae > Aquila > Aquila audax

Wedge-tailed eagle
Aquila audax

The largest bird of prey in Australia, Wedge-tailed eagles are a magnificent sight with an unmistakable "wedge shaped" tail.

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Wedge-tailed eagle - Aquila audax - Photo by Alan Hinton

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They can have a wingspan of just under 3 metres and a length of over 1 metre.

Their colouring is a dark brown with a lighter coloured reddish brown to their wings and head. Juveniles are lighter colour and slowly dark as they mature.

They can fly to heights of 2 kilometres and have keen eyesight (that even extends into ultraviolet). They usually hunt prey on the ground and have been known to team up to attack large prey (like kangaroos). They often feed on carrion and will spot other birds like crows to identify where dead animals can be found.

They can be confused with the White-bellied sea eagle at a distance or in poor light, as they also have a similar shaped tail. The White-bellied sea eagle, however is smaller and has different colouring.

It has been known to attack hang gliders and ultra-light aircraft, which is believed to be in an attempt to protect its territory.