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Wedge-tailed Eagle

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Wedge-tailed Eagle

Australian Natural History Series

Penny Olsen   Australian National University

Colour photographs, Photographs, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
120 pages
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

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Winner of the 2006 Whitley Award for Best Natural History of an Iconic Species

Australia’s Wedge-tailed Eagle belongs to the family of eagles, which together span the world. Eagles are powerful predators, with exceptional powers of flight and sight. They may kill to survive, but they also sleep, play, enjoy a bath, make tender parents, and form lasting relationships.

This book gives a comprehensive overview of Australia’s largest true eagle and one of the country’s few large predators and scavengers. First appearing in Aboriginal rock-paintings more than 5000 years ago, the Wedge-tailed Eagle was little more than a curiosity to the early European settlers. The book traces the subsequent changes in perception—from its branding as a vicious sheep killer to an iconic species worthy of conservation—and covers distribution, habitat, hunting, relationships, reproduction and chick development. A final section deals with threats to the existence of this magnificent bird.

We regret that there is an error in the last line of text on page 85. The text should read: “… the number of lambs taken rarely justifies the removal of eagles.”

  • A complete overview of one of Australia’s most notorious predators
  • Written by one of Australia’s leading raptor specialists
  • Line drawings by noted bird artist, Humphrey Price-Jones
  • Photographs by Peter Merritt

     1. Musings
    2. Eagles and Aborigines
    3. Early records and names
    4. Eagles and their relatives
    5. The eagle’s country
    6. Eagle specifics
    7. Flight and sight
    8. Reproduction
    9. From egg to adult
    10. Hunting and prey
    11. Threats
    List of Scientific Names

  • All those interested in Australian natural history
  • Raptor enthusiasts, amateur and professional ornithologists
  • Upper-secondary level students and undergraduate students

     "The format of the Australian Natural History Series is ideal for the author's style of writing. Pages are crammed full of detailed knowledge sourced from personal experience and a comprehensive knowledge of the literature. An essential read for anyone interested in ornithology or ecology."
    Chris Davey, Canberra Bird Notes, Vol 31, No 2, June 2006

    "An accessible book for the non-speacialist, and one that is accurate, comprehensive, written with flair and brimming with the confidence of knowledge and experience."
    Jane Caruthers, Historical Records of Australian Science, Vol 17, No 1, 2006

    "Wedge-tailed Eagle will be of interest to ornithologists, nature lovers, conservationists and eagle fanatics everywhere."
    Wingspan, Dec 2005

    "The book contains a great deal of interesting – and often entertaining – information. It is a very good summary of current knowledge about this eagle, and will appeal to ornithologists, nature lovers, conservationists and, of course, all eagle enthusiasts."
    Virgil Hubregtse, Victorian Naturalist, Vol. 123, December 2006

     As one of the world’s foremost authorities on raptors, Penny Olsen AM has contributed several chapters to the Handbook of Australian New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Vol 2 Raptors to Lapwings (OUP 1993) and Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol II (Lynx Editions 1994). She has worked in the field on various birds of prey for nearly three decades, and cared for hundreds of sick and injured individuals. Currently she edits Wingspan, the quarterly membership magazine of Birds Australia, Australia’s national birding organisation and oldest conservation organisation. In 2004, she was awarded an H.L. White Fellowship at the National Library to research a book on the extinct Paradise Parrot. 

    Related Titles
     Camera Trapping    Carnivores of Australia    Birds of Australia    Birds of New Guinea   The World of Birds    Glimpses of Australian Birdlife    Where Song Began  


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