These remarkable birds represent the largest species of Australian raptor. With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, you would think they are always easy to spot while soaring above the Strathbogie Tableland and Ranges. However, achieving a height of up to 2km doesn’t always make it that easy! Luckily, this pair were found roosting nearer to the ground. They weren’t hard to miss because of their astonishing size, dominating the dead tree branches. They can weigh more than 4 kg.
The juvenile was fairly sensitive to my intrusion. It didn’t choose to hang around long. It appeared the larger of the two, but the colour was lighter and it had a much smoother neck. The darkly feathered, mature male was relatively unfazed. He let me hang around for a while before effortlessly lifting off using the strength of slow, but powerful flaps of his wings. It was a bit disconcerting having him take off straight over my head.