Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle Portrait #1.

Carole-Anne

Campbelltown, Australia

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Portrait of a female Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Aquila audax. Renmark, South Australia. The Wedge-tailed Eagle is the largest bird of prey in Australia with a wing span of 182 and 233 cm (72 and 92 in), the males being a little smaller. This eagle’s great length and wingspan place it among the largest eagles in the world but its wings, at more than 65 cm (26 in) each, and tail, at 45 cm (18 in), are both unusually elongated for its body weight and 8-9 other eagle species regularly outweigh it.
Canon 500D, Tamron 18-270mm lens
(Featured in The World as we See it, or as we Missed it, & Other Groups.)
They are highly aerial, soaring for hours on end without wingbeat or effort, regularly reaching 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) and sometimes considerably higher. The purpose of this very high flight is unknown. Their keen eyesight extends into the infrared and ultraviolet bands. This helps them spot prey and allows them to see rising thermals, which they can use to gain altitude while expending little energy.
Most prey is captured on the ground in gliding attacks or (less frequently) in the air. Choice of prey is very much a matter of convenience and opportunity: since the arrival of Europeans, the introduced rabbit and Brown Hare have become the primary items of the eagle’s diet in many areas. The Wedge-tails can eat almost anything of a suitable size, live-caught or as carrion, often road-kill

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