Wedge-tailed Eagles feeding on carrion.

To: "Birding-aus" <>, <>
Subject: Wedge-tailed Eagles feeding on carrion.
From: "Jon Wren" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 00:10:05 +1000
Gooday all.
On the morning of Sunday 8 July 2001 I was returning from Abbot Point just
North of Bowen, Qld. when I observed Wedge-tailed Eagles feeding on road
kills. The road kills consisted of 7 Wallabies (Agile or Pretty face?)  and
1 Rabbit. A total of 14 WtE were observed in a 5km stretch of the road.
Following notes taken.
1. Wallaby. One adult WtE standing on body, 3 younger birds close by along
with Torresian Crows and 1 Whistling Kite. On examining the carrion the head
of the animal had been considerably eaten with sections of bone scattered
closeby. No attempt had been made to enter the belly or anal region.
2. Wallaby. Two WtE close to body with Torresion Crows. Internal organs were
exposed as the carcass had been crushed. Head of animal showed no evidence
of feeding.
3. Wallaby. One WtE at old carcass, difficult to determine how consumed.
4. Rabbit. One WtE feeding on the belly area of the rabbit, Whistling Kite
and 2 Black Kites along with Torresian Crows closeby.
5. Wallaby. Two WtE one bird standing on body, other bird standing with one
talon on the Wallabies head. Complete top of skull near body with the head
area considerably eaten.
6. Wallaby. Three WtE close to body. Head area extensively eaten no evidence
of any feeding in the belly or anal area.
7. Wallaby. Two WtE one on body other close by. Head area extensively eaten.
White-bellied Sea Eagle also observed feeding on this Wallaby carcass.

Four of the Wallabies heads had been extensively eaten on the 5 fresh road
On checking HANZAB Vol. 2 pg 168 Food it states "Carrion apparently located
by aerial quartering or by observation of scavengers such as Crows or
Ravens, which will leave the carcass at arrival of Eagle; entry to carcass
via the ear unless other openings available."
While this subject may be a bit morbid for some I was still thrilled to be
able to verify the conclusions stated in our birding Bible.

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