The most beloved bird in America versus an Aussie scavenger. Here are two of the most iconic birds of prey in a battle that could rival Crocodile Dundee’s New York City clash. The wedge-tailed and North American bald Eagles. This exercise is hypothetical, so it’s important to note that this disclaimer. Wedge-tailed and Australian eagles would not encounter a wild bald eagle. Their range covers most of North America.

They can exist together in healthy numbers on both continents. They would be in fierce competition for resources, including food and nesting spots, due to their similar niches. Wedgies, Australia‚Äôs largest raptor have so few competitors that they’ve taken over the role of condors and vultures in the rest of world. Bald eagles can also hunt large prey, but their specialty is fish. Before we get into the details and possibly a diplomatic incident, let us learn more about these enormous birds of prey.

They Have A Large Fan Base

Both species are doing well, which is good news for humans as they play important roles. They remove carrion from the environment and help keep small mammals reproducing quickly under control, such as rabbits, mice, and rats.

Both are very important in Indigenous cultures on both continents. Many Aboriginal Dreaming stories in Australia include the wedge-tailed Eagle, particularly depictions Bunjil, the creator. Some even associate constellations with them. Bald eagle feathers in native North American cultures are highly valued as symbols of bravery, strength, and holiness.

Because of their sheer size, the birds are easy to recognize in their natural ranges and make great emblems. The United States’ national bird is the bald eagle, which appears on the coat of arms. The Royal Australian Air Force badge features the wedge-tailed Australian eagle as an emblem. Each country has a professional football team named after its bird: the Philadelphia Eagles in the USA and the West Coast Eagles of Australia.

Despite historical conflicts in which humans blamed birds for livestock losses, both groups still have strong fans today. Although both eagles belong to the same family Accipitridae, their relationships are not close. They are members of different genera. The wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila Audax, is part of a group often referred to as true Eagles, which also houses some of the most widely distributed eagles worldwide, such as Aquila chrysaetos the golden eagle.

Bald eagles, Haliaetus Leucocephalus, are part of the Haliaetus Genus, which is a group of predominantly fish eating birds of prey. This includes Australia’s white-bellied sea-eagle Haliaetusleucogaster. It may appear that the odds are already in your favor: What chance does a bird who eats fish for its main meal have against one that eats almost anything, alive or dead?

Close Match Bird

They are actually well-matched in terms potential fighting abilities. They weigh in at around four to five kg each, and have almost identical wingspans of between 1.8-2.3 metres. Both birds have long, strong, curving beaks that can rip apart the bones of prey. The legs and talons are what opponents should be most wary of.

Both species are able to grasp prey from the ground or water with their strong feet and transport it away to eat. Both species have no natural predators. It would be close. Let’s suppose, hypothetically, that a wedge-tailed and a bald Eagle are at the same spot at the same moment, fighting for the same prey.

The bald eagle is likely to be perched on a nearby rock face, while the wedgie will be flying high in the sky. Unassuming, poor rodent, perhaps of large size that makes it highly prized, is doing its business below. With their exceptional vision, both predators can see each other and the rodent. Eagles have the best eyesight among all vertebrates. The fight would begin with a rapid downwards dive of both predators, at 160 km per hour.

Before they hit the ground, either the rodent or the other would flap their wings to slow them down and reveal their legs. These wings would extend towards their opponent, and depending on which bird grabs them, could signify the end of the other. This would be a tough grapple, possibly even an endurance test.

What Is The Verdict?

However, I am betting on the wedge-tailed Eagle. Although wedge-tailed Eagles are similar in size to bald ones, they can kill larger prey. Bald eagles prefer small mammals and fish, but rarely attack larger prey such as racoons or beavers. Wedge-tails will eat similar-sized mammals like rabbits but they will also attack kangaroos and koalas.

This could make them more comfortable in targeting large, diverse prey. The real test that makes me decide is the strange encounters these birds have in the real world. Recent increases in the number of bald eagles mean that their range now overlaps that of the common loon in North America. This is a diving water bird with sharp beaks. Loons may be able to kill bald eagles in their quest for prey. Canada 1: USA 0.

This is not a great look for the majestic Baldie. This is similar to the wedge-tailed Eagle, which is the only bird known to attack drones and paragliders. They likely view them as threats and attempt to defend their territory. My bets on motivation and sheer braveness in taking on an opponent are placed in the hands of the wedgie.

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