Hanging one-armed from a brittle gum, 12 metres above the ground, Charles Davis from Cooma, NSW, has secured some of the best ever photographs of baby wedge-tailed eagles growing up.
Story By Charles Davis
Charles was doing some fencing work on the family’s 2000-hectare sheep property “Yalcowinna” when he noticed the parent eagles flying towards a hill he hadn’t explored, in steep country along the Murrumbidgee River. “The area was steep and hard walking, but as it got near dark I spooked the eagles out of a nearby tree by accident. In doing so I found the nest,” he says. “The climb was hard with slippery, white powder coating the tree limbs and no real way of getting to the nest except for a single limb, which could only be straddled and shimmied along. When I finally made it to the nest I expected to find eggs but instead found two chicks about a week old surrounded by a dead lamb, a dead duckling and a dead rabbit. I didn’t stay long – they would soon get cold without their mother, which wouldn’t return while I was there.” Every two weeks after that for the next four months, Charles returned to the nest to check the progress of the chicks. “Every time I visited, the eaglets had grown in size and personality; the smaller of the two was friendly whilst the larger was always aggressive. Sometimes while I was hanging there with one arm it would try to rip my nose off. The biggest worry was always the mother, but at no stage did it try to attack me – they’re such shy creatures.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #90
Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2013