Wedge-tailed Eagle, Taronga Zoo, Sydney
The Wedge-tailed Eagle is the largest of Australia’s birds of prey. At rest it stands nearly a metre tall and has a wing span of up to 2.8 metres. It is a bird found throughout all of Australia and is a common sight soaring on high in rural areas. While it is more common in open country, it can also be found in mountainous and forested areas. It builds a large nest in a prominent, high position using sticks and twigs, adding to the nest year after year. Some can reach very large proportions, several metres deep and wide. At the beginning of each nesting attempt the nest is lined with fresh eucalyptus leaves.
The bird shown in the photos on this page were taken during the Free Flight Bird Show at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, on our visit there last year. This show is always the highlight for us whenever we visit the zoo. To have a large eagle such as this swooping low over your head is a truly awesome experience. I’m pleased that the zoo keepers have plenty of food for the birds during the show; I’d hate for one of these eagles to settle on my should and take a chunk out of my ear or nose.