During one of the habitat assessments we conducted recently in the Strathbogie Forest, our team found the nest of a Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) – a rare and important find.

Wedge-tailed Eagle nest in the gnarly upper branches of and old growth Yellow Box.

As significant as the nesting site, was the exceptional tree the nest was in – an impressive, old-growth Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora). Measuring almost 1.5 m in diameter and about 30 m tall, this is as impressive and majestic a tree as any in this part of the forest. Trees of this size, age and particularly this species are now extremely rare. This specimen was healthy and had a straight and sound trunk.

The more common eucalypts in this part of the forest are Victorian Blue Gum (E. bicostata), Narrow-leaved Peppermint (E. radiata), Broad-leaved Peppermint (E. dives), Red Stringybark (E. macrorhyncha) and Long-leaved Box (E. goniocalyx), with Red Box (E. polyanthemos) on the ridges. Yellow Box appears to occur in a narrow band where the slopes are more gentle and the soil a bit deeper (maybe). In this area, the steep slopes and numerous ephemeral drainage lines, create diverse environmental conditions so that different vegetation types grade into each other, making for a rich and species diverse forest.

The northern flanks of the Strathbogie Ranges were not cleared for pine plantation and support rick, diverse forest habitat.

This activity is part of the Strathbogie Forest Citizen Science project and is supported by the Victorian Government – Biodiversity On-ground Action.