Our beautiful, big, majestic emperors of the sky are constantly putting themselves in danger. Why? An easy meal, fast food if you like. Unfortunately, large numbers of animal carcasses litter the roads, with more casualties being added each and every night. The dry conditions are making the green pick on roadsides a worthwhile option for kangaroos and wallabies that are unaware of the imminent danger that is forever present. Once hit, the animals left behind provide a meal that attracts a large number of carnivores for an easy meal, one of these predators being the Wedge-Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax). We see them soaring high in the sky and it’s easy to think they are fast and nimble, so how is it we can hit them? Unlike the witty crows and ravens who can take off rather quickly, the larger birds are unable to just employ a quick flap of their wings to be meters off the ground. Instead, it takes a bit more time to pull their carrion-full bodies off the ground, allowing more time for them to collide with oncoming traffic.
In the last 6 weeks, I have seen 4 deceased eagles slumped on the roadside. A heartbreaking sight to say the least, so how can we avoid it? Slowing down is the obvious answer. Give the eagle a chance to get off the road and high enough to avoid being hit. Allow more time if possible, to do so, but avoid harsh breaking and swerving as you don’t want to become another statistic. Always keep an eye on the road and please report injured wildlife if you do come across an animal in need.
By Mckenzie Higgins, Fauna Spotter for Boobook