Birdlife - Wedged-Tailed Eagle up close

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Wedge-Tailed Eagle


The Wedge-tailed Eagle or Eaglehawk is the largest raptor in Australia and is the most common of all the world's large eagles. It has long, broad wings, fully feathered legs, and an unmistakable wedge-shaped tail. Because of both its tail and its sizeā€”it is one of the largest birds of prey in the world.

It is one of twelve species of large predominantly dark-coloured eagles in the genus Aquila found worldwide; a large brown bird of prey, it has a wingspan averaging over 2.5m and an average length of around 1.2m.

As with many raptors, the female is much larger than the male, averaging around 4.2 kg and sometimes over 5kg. Males are typically around 3.2kg.Their length varies between 0.9m and 1.15m.

Young Wedge-tailed Eagles are a mid-brown colour with slightly lighter, reddish-brown wings and head. As they grow older, their colour becomes gradually darker, reaching a dark blackish-brown shade after about ten years. 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 a feature unique to this species.