The wedge-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in Australia. They are territorial and live in pairs and are distinguished by their diamond-shaped tail, fingered wing tips and heavily feathered legs. Wedge-tailed eagle females can weigh 4.5kg whilst the males average 3kg. They can soar on thermal air currents for 90 minutes up to 2km high.
The wedge-tailed eagle is found throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania. They live in a variety of habitats, from coastal regions through to woodlands and open grasslands.
Wedge-tailed eagles are powerful hunters as well as being scavengers. They use their strong talons and pointed beak to rip prey apart. A large portion of their diet is rabbit. Other food items include birds, lizards, small to medium mammals and carrion. They can lift prey up to 50% of their body weight.
Wedge-tailed eagles are monogamous and mate for life, however, if one dies, a new mate may be found. Their nests, which are called an eyrie, are made from dead sticks and can be re-used for many years. Eyries are normally built in the tallest tree to provide a clear view of their territory.
Breeding season varies with food availability but is usually April to September. Females can lay up to three eggs, but usually only one chick will make it through to adulthood. Both parents help incubate the eggs for 45 days. After fledging, juveniles stay with their parents for eleven weeks before becoming independent.