Saturday, 21 March 2015

Ravens v’s Eagle

This week I participated in the BirdLife East Gippsland Autumn camp in the Yarram-Port Albert area where there is a great diversity of birding habitats. These range from the Corner Inlet mangrove fringed tidal flats, a great wader stronghold in Victoria, to the wet temperate rainforest in the Tarra-Bulga National Park on the Strzelecki Range, home of Lyrebirds, Pink Robins and Pilotbirds.
During our week in the area we were surprised to see Wedge-tailed Eagles every day in many locations.
On the road between Tarraville and Manns Beach we passed a Wedge-tailed Eagle perched on a fence post beside the road. A quick U turn and slow drive back for a photo opportunity saw the Eagle fly off but only up to the top most insulator of a power line pole on the opposite side of the road where it was joined by a pair of Australian Ravens.
The Eagle was a juvenile for two obvious reasons, one; an adult bird would have been far too wary to land in this location with a vehicle approaching and, two; the feather colours and markings were of a young bird.
The two Ravens were clearly not happy with the Eagle’s presence and at first expressed their displeasure vocally. Perhaps there was a dead animal in the adjoining paddock which would explain the Eagle’s presence low on the fence post and the Ravens’ objections as it was well past breeding time when the protection of a nest and young might be a concern. More likely, competition for food and an ingrained response to a top order predator was motivating the Ravens’ behavior.
Their objections soon ramped up a notch when one of the Ravens commenced an aerial attack while its partner perched on one of the power lines close to the Eagle and maintained eye contact and a vocal barrage.  After a number of close swoops the Eagle decided enough was enough and departed for a quieter perch with the pair of Ravens in pursuit.
These photos show some of the interaction.
A juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle and Australian Raven eye one another off.
Their attention to one another is distracted.
The cause of the distraction swoops close by.
Another approach, not too close.
The Raven kept up its attacks, harrying the Eagle, but at no time making contact.
Eventually the young Eagle, which did not seem concerned by the attacks, had had enough
and prepared to depart.
The moment of lift off with the massive up-raised wings about to thrust down.
The Ravens in pursuit.
I could not resist cropping the Eagle from the above image to remove the distraction
of the pesky Ravens and show the magnificent Eagle in all its glory.

Another wonderful bird encounter!
I wondered later, was the more aggressive Raven doing the swooping a male or a female?
PS.   The two Ravens may well be Little Ravens and not Australian, I am not sure?


  1. A great sequence of photos! The apparent lack of evident throat hackles and the rather slender bill suggests that the Ravens might be Little.

    1. Have consulted with other birdo's in car when photos were taken and consensus is Little. Thanks Chris.