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Wedge-tailed Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
Longreach district, Queensland, April 2014
Aquila audax


Photo © by peterday
Naracoorte, South Australia, December 2014

81–104 cm (32-50 in); Australia's largest eagle.
Long wings with long primaries can span from 2 to 2.5 metres. Males smaller than females.
Young birds are light brown becoming darker with age until almost all black for the most mature adults.

Similar Species

Immatures can be confused with immature White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster which has a much shorter wedge-shaped tail.


Australia: occurs almost throughout the continent and on Tasmania, also in southern New Guinea.


Photo © by stoop
South-eastern Queensland, Australia


There are 2 subspecies [1]:

  • A. a. audax:
  • A. a. fleayi:


Dry open plains to mountain forests. Nests in trees or sometimes on the ground on islands


Photo © by Mat & Cathy
Oxley Creek Common, Brisbane, SE Queensland, Australia, October 2009


Long 'wedge' or diamond-shaped tail and long wings and primaries are most obvious when soaring.


Preys on mammals, large birds and large reptiles (such as snakes and goannas). Can be encountered feeding on road-killed animals in country areas.


Resident and nomadic.


Call: a thin high-pitched whistle given in flight.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2015)

Recommended Citation

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