Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)


French: Aigle d’Australie German: Keilschwanzadler Spanish: Águila audaz

Vultur audax


, 1801,

New South Wales, Australia


Formerly placed in monospecific genus Uroaetus, but clearly related to other Aquila. Has been considered closely related to A. chrysaetos, and possibly also to A. gurneyi. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. audax (Latham, 1801) – Australia and S New Guinea.
  • A. a. fleayi Condon & Amadon, 1954 – Tasmania.
  • Descriptive notes

    81–104 cm; male 2025–4030 g, larger female 3050–5300 g; wingspan 182–232 cm. Large, mostly black Aquila; tail shape unique within genus; also has... read more


    Only really vocal during aerial displays and near nest; gives thin high-pitched whistle followed by... read more


    Over most terrestrial habitats, from sea level up to 2000 m, but avoids areas of dense human... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mammals, birds, reptiles and carrion. In S prefers rabbits and hares, in N young kangaroos and wallabies (Macropus); other mammals... read more


    Apr–Sept (peak laying Jul–Aug); sometimes earlier (Jan–Feb) in tropical N Australia, but mainly from May in New Guinea.... read more


    Breeding adults sedentary, except in arid zone when forced to move by severe drought, and in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Widespread and common on Australian mainland, despite formerly intense persecution for supposed impact on domestic stock (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).