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15 Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle Facts You’ll Never Forget

Here are some Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle facts for kids that they are sure to love

The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) belongs to the Aquila audax species and is found mostly in areas of Tasmania, Australia. This species is one of the largest eagles and has long rounded wings with deeply emarginated tips. This species is the subspecies of the more common wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax) and is a threatened species.

Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles are top predators and are extremely territorial. The wedge-tailed eagles of Australia mostly capture their live prey by sallying all across open pastures and grasslands. Their hunting mostly happens during the day and is consumed where it is caught. The food is brought back to the nest for the young ones during the season of breeding. This is a special characteristic of the wedge-tailed eagle as other types of eagles don't bring back food to their nests.

Scroll down to read about the wedge-tailed eagle's life span, what it feeds on, its habitat, and other exciting details! For more relatable content, check out these tawny eagle facts and harpy eagle facts for kids.

Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle?

The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is the subspecies of the more common wedge-tailed eagle and is an endangered bird species of Tasmania.

What class of animal does a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle belong to?

This species of wedge-tailed eagle belongs to the Aves class and the order Accipitriformes.

How many Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles are there in the world?

There isn't an exact assessment of the population of Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles all over the world, but the species has been endangered for a while due to being captured by humans and persecution. The population of these birds is also affected due to loss of habitat and degradation.

Where does a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle live?

This species is capable of foraging in forests with the density of the forests influencing the availability of the prey. Wedge-tailed eagles live in lower-density areas in the western and southwestern areas of Tasmanian forests where the forests are shrubbier with areas that have rich foliage, farmlands, grasslands, wetlands, and rivers.

Its nesting preferences are in areas that have old-growth native forests and large and mature eucalyptus forests. Even though they tend to forage in areas of low density, they build their nests on the highest canopy tops.

What is a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle's habitat?

The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle as the name suggests can be found specifically in Tasmania, Australia. A very low amount of sightings have been found around areas of Kings Island and the smaller islands of the Bass Strait as well as in Papua New Guinea. Their nesting habitat ranges from coastal dunes to mountain peaks, but there is no movement between mainland Australia and Tasmania.

Who do Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles live with?

Wedge-tailed eagles of Australia are solitary animals that mostly stay alone and only congregate before the mating period. After the mating season passes, they go back to being primarily solitary. They reach sexual maturity at three years old, but they mate when they are at least six years old. They have often been seen to hunt in pairs or groups when there is a larger prey or less prey as well.

How long does a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle live?

The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle can live up to 40 years. This might make people wonder as to why they are threatened and endangered even though they have such a long life span, and that is due to habitat degradation which leads to low breeding success. As urbanization is taking over lands, including the forests, it becomes difficult for this species to settle and mate. They are also harmed as there is a smaller amount of prey and they have been frequently poisoned by farm owners when these eagles tried to prey on farm animals.

How do they reproduce?

Eagles are known to be majestic animals and the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle lives up to that reputation as well. They are monogamous in nature and stay with their partner throughout the year before and after the breeding season. They might not mate for life but stay together until the newborns that they produce are capable to be on their own. The breeding season doesn't let the male species breed easily, but during the period of courting and pair-bonding, they perform spectacular aerial displays and the courtship starts in late June.

The courtship continues with aerial displays and to impress each other, and even nests are repaired. The nests are renewed with greenery in early August. During late August or early September, the breeding season takes place and then one or two eggs are laid. The eggs are whitish-gray in color with few brown spots all around the eggs. The females incubate the egg for a period of 43-45 days and during this time the males bring food for the female eagles and feed them.

After the egg hatches, the first few weeks the chick is fed by the female eagle and after six to eight weeks, the newborns are capable of feeding themselves. Until they can fly around the territory, that is, about 90 days, they are fed by the parent eagles. Newborns are dependant on their parents for more than three months and tag along until the next breeding season. After they mature, they tend to abandon their parents.

What is their conservation status?

According to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) of the Parliament of Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is an Endangered species. Due to degradation in the habitat and over-cutting of the native forest, these eagles are not able to mate or live in their nests. This is the major reason for the subspecies Aquila audax fleayi being a threatened species. The nest sites of these eagles tend to be in tall canopy trees which due to urbanization, keep getting cut, and more and more construction in the forest areas is leading to less breeding due to problems in nesting.

The IUCN Red List has the wedge-tailed eagle as the Least Concern species while the status of the subspecies has not been evaluated yet.

Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle Fun Facts

What does the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle look like?

The subspecies Aquila audax fleayi belongs to the genus of huge eagles and the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle has long wings with notched tips. They have very strong legs and talons, along with that it has ear-shaped nostrils. A Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle weighs up to about 7.7-12.1 lb (3.5-5.5 kg) and they are almost 39.4-43.3 in (100-110 cm) long and have 74.8-90.5 in (190-230 cm) wingspan.

Female wedge-tailed eagles are bigger in size than the male wedge-tailed eagle and weigh 15% more than male eagles. An adult eagle has dark brown or black plumage on its body and has pale silver streaks when viewed from below. They have a reddish-gold coloring on the nape, hindneck, and upper wing. Tasmanian eagles do not attain black plumage but instead, they have a tawny brown color with blond markings on the upper parts and a dark wedge-shaped tail. The dark plumage can be observed in older wedge-tailed eagles in the mainland, as the plumage darkens with each successive molting.

This bird of prey with tawny feathers has a habitat range in forests.

How cute are they?

The wedge-tailed eagle is one of the biggest birds in existence and eagles, in general, are seen as terrifying birds. With their huge claws and loud squeals, they can't be exactly perceived as cute.

How do they communicate?

Wedge-tailed eagles are generally quiet birds and don't have a loud shrill call like the golden eagle. Their call is quite weak for their size, but they are capable of making whistling noises and loud yelps and squeals that help them to communicate with other Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles as well prey before sallying.

How big is a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle?

Wedge-tailed eagles are almost 39.4-43.3 in (100-110 cm) long and have a 74.8-90.5 in (190-230 cm) wingspan.

How fast can a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle fly?

Eagles have extreme power over their flight techniques and this allows the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle to fly very fast. The speed range from about 6.2-12.4 mph (10-20 kph). They snoop down mid-flight in order to catch their prey like chicks and rabbits.

How much does a Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle weigh?

A Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle weighs up to about 7.7-12.1 lb (3.5-5.5 kg). This makes it almost three times heavier than the cockatoo which weighs about 2.8-3.5 oz (80-100 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for adult males and females and are just known by their general name or the scientific name.

What would you call a baby Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle?

A newborn of wedge-tailed eagles is called a chick and until they attain the age where they can fend for themselves, they are given the name chicks.

What do they eat?

The wedge-tailed eagle's diet consists of smaller animals like rabbits like the European rabbit, native hens, wallabies, hares, cats, echidnas, wombats, smaller birds, sheep, goats, reptiles, and possums. They also tend to feed on a carrion diet when there is no available prey in the forest or if the eagles are immature. They don't carry their food to their nest until and unless they have newborns to feed.

Are they dangerous?

The Australian government has made sure to protect the wedge-tailed eagle bird and people are punished if they bait and kill these eagles. The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle isn't dangerous for humans, as it is not that big in size and only attacks smaller animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Eagles, in general, are not good pets because they are top-notch predators. They tend to prey on smaller animals and this might even lead to mishaps in a family setting or even for neighbors.

Did you know...

The endemic species is an endangered animal due to several circumstances, all of which are triggered by human intervention. Due to construction sounds or other disturbances, these eagles tend to abandon their nest more than often and this leads to less breeding. More than often, humans have also poisoned these eagles by putting out animals as baits.

Why is the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle endangered?

There are several reasons for the decline in the number of wedge-tailed eagles. One of the main reasons is disturbance during mating season or a small breeding population. The degradation in nesting habits, food as well as nature, has made it difficult for this species to survive.

They have also been caught by humans from time to time and prosecuted for preying on farm animals and so on. They need protection to avoid from becoming Vulnerable.

How many eggs do Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles lay? 

The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle lays about one to two eggs around late August or early September. Female wedge-tailed eagles incubate the eggs for almost 43-45 days and the male eagle feeds the female throughout this period.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our chinstrap penguin fun facts and southern cassowary interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African hawk eagle coloring pages.

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