The wedge-tailed eagle is characterised by its wedge-shaped tail and enormous wingspan. Juveniles display brown plumage darkening to near-black as they age. Their diet consists of rabbits, birds, reptiles and other mammals as well as carrion. When the wedge-tailed eagle finds food, it swoops down and grasps its prey in its powerful talons. Their strong, hooked beak helps to tear prey into pieces small enough to be swallowed.
They are found throughout Australia, and prefer open woodland areas with a good grassy ground cover. They can be seen soaring majestically on air currents for hours at a time, reaching altitudes beyond 2000 metres. Their keen eyesight extends into the infrared and ultraviolet bands. This helps locate prey and allows them to see rising thermals, which they can use to gain altitude while expending little energy.
Did you know?: The wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey.