Wedge-tailed Eagle

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A protected species in every state of Australia


Wedge-tailed Eagle, Aquila audax, are the largest Australian birds of prey, sized at 90cm for males and 100cm for females. The Wedge-tailed Eagle has a very large wingspan up to 2.5 metres. The brid is coloured dark brown and black. The Wedge-tailed Eagle has powerful, fully feathered legs and has a long diamond-shaped tail. Flies with long slow wing beats or soars and circles high on upswept wings, showing fingered wing tips.

Feeding Habits

Feeds mainly on rabbits, wallabies or carrion, especially road kills.


Acrobatic displays start the breeding season from June-August. Enormous stick nests are used over years, and are repaired by both sexes. The female does most of the incubating, the male bringing food and fresh leaves for nest lining. Usually two chicks are born but often only one survives, fed by both parents. Young fledge in 70-90 days. In drought years birds may not breed.

Places to Look

  • Open country
  • Forested areas near farmland
  • Arid scrub
  • Mountains
  • Wetlands


Previously hunted and shot, now protected in all states.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Wedge-tailed Eagle © Birdlife Townsville 2008

This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at
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