Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Giant Eagles of the Forest


I've recently returned from Tasmania where I spent the last 2 weeks volunteering with University of Tasmania student James Pay, who is also studying Wedge-tailed Eagles for his PhD. Some of James' work has involved satellite-telemetry, so I was thrilled when he gave me the opportunity to visit Tassie and assist with the attachment of transmitters to juvenile eagles, something I have been slowly gaining experience doing since Wallu was satellite-tagged in 2013.

More information is coming soon, but for now I wanted to post a few images of the magnificent bird that is the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax fleyii), a subspecies of wedgie that, as I was totally amazed to discover first-hand, is so much bigger than its mainland cousin!

Tasmanian Wedge-tails are normally very wary but this female was an exception to the rule.

The eagle's habitat in this southern-most part of its range is usually tall Eucalypt forest.

Eyries like this one built in a tall Mountain Ash (E. regnans), are very camouflaged in the canopy.

The characteristic pale head and dark bill of a juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Woldja, an 11-week old Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle that I was thrilled to capture.

Bill Brown holds Woldja while James Pay fits a harness-mounted satellite transmitter to her back.

Woldja's feet were eNORmous (nearly the same size as my hand!) - an adaptation for taking the larger prey animals like possums and paddymelons found in Tasmania.

All juvenile eagles have a pale head but Woldja's was an incredibly beautiful blonde colour.

A beautifully calm 8-week old Wedge-tail with a transmitter being fitted.

The incredible tree-climbing skills of Dave James allowed access to some very high eyries!

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