Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Wedgies and Drones

The Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle is a predatory bird. It doesn't mind a bit of easy fresh road kill, but its style is to hunt from the air; to swoop down on its normally small prey and carry it away to a convenient place to devour. There are unproven tales of them taking away small white dogs. Farmers hated them as the would kill young lambs. There was a bounty for a dead Wedgie and they were hunted down to very low numbers. Yet, they are such an important part of the Australian environment, as they are the top of the tree as predators and nothing threatens them.

I am sure our rabbit plagues of the 1900s would not have been nearly as bad had Wedgies not been so hunted. They are a handsome bird. We once had a large drop trap cage on our farm. We once caught a wallaby, a small creature like a kangaroo, and another time, a Wedgie. I think the light weight cage was destroyed when it trapped a very angry wombat.

Apparently Wedge Tailed eagles are very territorial birds, and seem to have trouble distinguishing between a real bird and a drone. They really do not like drones. This clip is a bit slowed. Eagle 1, drone 0.


A wedgie could not possibly take off a grown kangaroo, but it is interesting to see that there are three of them, and maybe numbers could win.


I just read a mining company here in Australia has lost nine survey drones to bird attacks, at a cost of  AU$100,000. Tourist alert, just another thing to fear about Australia. Eagles can't pick up a grown human in their claws, but what about your baby? Government safety warnings state that you should always strap your child into its pram or pusher and tether the pusher to a stout anchor point if the carriage is not within your hand control.

Keeping with the predatory bird theme, the fastest creature on Earth is the Peregrine Falcon. It can reach speeds of 300 km/h.   Each year a pair nests on top of a building in the city. A webcam has been set up. Check it out here. Unfortunately, and I am adding to the problem by promoting the webcam, it does a lot of buffering. http://www.367collinsfalcons.com.au/

12 comments:

  1. They are such majestic birds. Smiling at them taking out the drones.
    Years back we saw one sitting on a fence post being harassed by a pair of magpies (who were certainly punching well above their weight). It ignored them.

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    1. EC, yes, the magpies would be no match for an eagle, and they probably knew it.

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  2. Our biggest birds here are Buzzards which will take cats and chicken. They are probably half the size of your Eagle.

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    1. Cro, odd that I associate Buzzards with being scavengers rather than hunters. I know now.

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  3. I love those big birds of prey and it's probably a good thing I didn't know they might take a small child when I was young, as my kids often ran along beside their strollers instead of sitting in them. Not on busy city streets of course.

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    1. River, there has never been a believable report of a child being grabbed by an eagle. The story of one poor woman's little white dog being snatched by an eagle, complete with video, was faked.

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  4. I had no idea these birds existed and they are tough! Really enjoy learning about new things like this! Hugs...RO

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    1. RO, they are truly and amazing and regal bird.

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  5. They are magnificent predators but I didn't enjoy the mass attack on the kangaroo, that was horrible! Gosh it's a tough old world out in them thar wilds!

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    1. Grace, I don't think any kangaroos were taken, just being harassed.

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  6. Magnificent creatures! And creatures of Nature doing what is natural, I guess.

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    1. Lee, yes nature can look quite cruel to us humans, but it the way of things.

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