Determined wedge-tailed eagles are hunting healthy lambs, farmers warn

© Provided by ABC NEWS Wedge-tailed eagles are attacking healthy lambs, warn farmers. (Supplied: Wikimedia commons)

When lambing season is underway in South Australia, a predator from the sky looks likely to add to the challenges facing sheep farmers.

Wedge-tailed eagles, an Australian native bird and protected species, are swooping to prey on young lambs.

Farmers say the eagles are smart and determined.

“I watched a pair of eagles separate a ewe from one of her twins,” said Twitter user Ellen.

“She was protecting one lamb while trying to work out how to rescue the other.

“It was mesmerising and horrifying to watch.

“I ended up intervening so the ewe could get her lambs safely to the shelter of the creek.”

Sheep farmers told ABC Radio Regional Drive what had surprised and disturbed them the most was the “wedgies” were not just targeting sick or weak lambs.

Healthy young lambs were also being attacked.

Ian Vanderbrook, a crop and livestock producer on the Upper Eyre Peninsula, told ABC’s Narelle Graham it was a surprise for him.

“I went into a paddock, where I had some lambs that were a week or so old. They were up on the hill enjoying the sun. When I came back 15 minutes later, there was a wedge-tailed eagle in the same spot. The eagle had killed both of them.”

Mr Vanderbrook said the eagle had eaten some of each of the lambs.

lambs and eagles

Other farmers said they had seen eagles land on a healthy lamb and crush its skull with their talons.

Chad Crittle, a senior keeper of birds at Adelaide Zoo, says it could be a sign of a lack of other food sources for wedge-tailed eagles.

“Australia is the only major continent on the planet without vultures,” he said.

“It means we haven’t got any defined scavengers. Australia has birds that will scavenge and hunt; wedge-tailed eagles are a great example of that.

“They’re a predominant scavenger, but when times are tough, they will hunt.”

Mr Crittle said it was common for eagles to hunt in pairs, with their nesting partner.

He also said populations of wedge-tailed eagles were declining.

“There aren’t as many wedgies as you might think. They’re in dire straits in some parts of Australia, but the solution to living near eagles is tricky.”

Mr Crittle said livestock guardians might help deter the birds, but were unlikely to prevent eagles from taking some farm animals.

He said there was a “huge” burden on wedge-tailed eagles to provide enough food to raise a chick, and it was possible that less roadkill due to a decrease in people’s movements during the pandemic could be contributing.

“The effect of the pandemic is a variable that will be looked at for its impact on a lot of animal species,” Mr Crittle said.

“Have we seen a reduction in roadkill? I don’t know the answer to that, but there is a chance that there’s less food around in that sense too.”

Mr Crittle said the majority of a wedge-tailed eagle’s diet was rabbit, followed by roadkill.

He said the wedgies played a critical role in keeping the environment free from diseases found in animal carcasses.

Gallery: How sea otters can help fight climate change (StarsInsider)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Wonderful Wiese leads Namibia to historic win

David Wiese produced a blistering innings to inspire Namibia to a historic first victory at a World Cup, as they preserved their Super 12 qualification hopes with a stunning six-wicket ... Read more »

2 LeT terrorists involved in attack on Bihar labourers killed in encounter

© Provided by Hindustan Times CRPF personnel are on high alert in wake of recent civilian killings in the Kashmir valley, at Lal Chowk, in Srinagar on Wednesday.  (ANI) J&K ... Read more »

‘Tears in my eyes', ‘Huge' - Fabrizio Romano's ‘great news' sends many Man City fans wild

Flocking to Twitter, many Manchester City supporters have erupted over news shared by reliable reporter Fabrizio Romano concerning fan favourite Phil Foden. © Provided by Transfer Tavern phil foden vs ... Read more »

Man makes rasgulla chaat with spices and tamarind chutney; internet users cringe

© Provided by Firstpost Man makes rasgulla chaat with spices and tamarind chutney; internet users cringe India is home to a variety of cuisines, with various food combinations made through ... Read more »

Joe Cole snubs Mo Salah as he names two favourites for Premier League Golden Boot

Joe Cole passed over Mohamed Salah as he tipped Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo to finish as the top scorers in the Premier League this season. Liverpool forward Salah is ... Read more »

It's a virtual knockout - with calculators at the ready - as Scotland take on Oman in last league game

© ICC via Getty Two wins in two, but Scotland still need to make it three in three to be absolutely sure © ICC via Getty Big picture Imagine this: ... Read more »

Aryan Khan's WhatsApp chats referred to 'bulk quantity and hard drugs', said court's order

© Provided by Zee News NEW DELHI: The special NDPS court on Wednesday (October 20) delivered its verdict and denied bail to Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in the ... Read more »

Murder accused (38) hires new lawyers but will not attend trial, jury told

Stephen Penrose, who is accused of murdering a man whose decapitated body was found in woodland, has declined to continue attending his trial and the case will proceed in his ... Read more »

Anya Hindmarch: ‘How I overcame self doubt in the workplace'

Fashion designer, entrepreneur and author Anya Hindmarch has been vocal about the self-doubt and anxiety she’s experienced throughout her career. Despite having built up a global fashion and luxury brand ... Read more »

Police handed new powers to evict Travellers

Travellers who get into disputes with local residents after moving onto common land will be evicted by police under new powers announced on Wednesday. © Provided by The Telegraph Travellers ... Read more »

Top cop in Madeleine McCann investigation reveals 'real complication' in Cleo Smith's disappearance - after terrifying new clue suggests the four-year-old WAS abducted from her tent

Detective on Madeleine McCann case weighs in on missing WA Girl Cleo SmithDr Graham Hill said the fact her sleeping bag is missing is a 'real complication' The top cop believes she wouldn't have wandered off taking the sleeping bag It comes as WA police revealed little Cleo was too short to reach the tent zipThere are now grave fears the four-year-old was snatched as her parents sleptPolice have disclosed that while there are currently no concrete suspects  Read more »

Robert Pattinson Wasn't The Only One To Don Val Kilmer's Batsuit

Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock DC FanDome recently gave fans their best look yet at Matt Reeves’ upcoming reboot, “The Batman” — which follows a young Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) as he goes ... Read more »

FBI raids Washington, New York homes linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

1 / 5FBI raids Washington, New York homes linked to Russian oligarch Oleg DeripaskaFBI raids Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s home in Washington By Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON ... Read more »

‘Confident' Kate Middleton & ‘affectionate' William show they ‘have the perfect power balance' in rare PDA, says expert

KATE Middleton and Prince William put on a rare display of public affection at the Earthshot Prize and were pictured cuddling up to one another and gazing into each other’s ... Read more »

LeBron James' advice after Russell Westbrook's miserable Lakers debut

LeBron James’ advice to Russell Westbrook: Go home and watch a comedy. That, James said, is how Westbrook can forget about his eight-point, 4-for-13, four-turnover performance in the Lakers’ 121-114 ... Read more »

Army reservist first to be thrown out of military following charges related to Jan. 6

An Army reservist became the first military service member charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to be kicked out of the military. Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 31, was an army sergeant ... Read more »

Sam Spruell: My family are pleasantly surprised at me making it in Hollywood

© BBC/See-Saw Films/Nicolas Bolduc Sam SpruellTheNorthWater Sam Spruell has starred alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Florence Pugh, Charlize Theron and Letitia Wright. And he has now admitted even ... Read more »

An eye-popping hyperlapse POV video tour of Odyssey of the Seas

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Hold tight – it’s a thrilling ride. You can now go on an eye-popping tour of Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Odyssey of the ... Read more »

Tiny fragments of plastic floating in the air could be cooling the planet by reflecting solar rays into space

Tiny airborne plastic particles could be helping to cool parts of the planet by reflecting and dispersing the heat from the sun, according to research.   Microplastics could be acting the same way as ... Read more »

Duterte welcomes 8 new envoys, thanks them for pandemic assistance

© Screengrab from RTVM video President Duterte welcomes new ambassadors of eight nations (October 20, 2021) President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday received the credentials of eight foreign diplomats in Malacañang. ... Read more »

No sign of COVID cases falling, healthcare system under pressure: Ong Ye Kung

SINGAPORE — Even as COVID-19 cases in Singapore are no longer doubling as quickly they were in the past month, there is still no sign of numbers falling, said Health ... Read more »

Stimulus Money Could Cause the Stock Market to Plunge 15% by November

© peshkov / Getty Images/iStockphoto Business graph with arrows tending downwards. Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer for financial firm Guggenheim, predicts that the stock market could drop 15% by ... Read more »

More than 20 Activision Blizzard employees ‘exited' following lawsuits

© Image: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Call of Duty and Overwatch publisher Activision Blizzard is vowing to create a “company culture where all feel ... Read more »

Hitman 3 Featured Contract – DJ Axe Party Silent Assassin guide

© Provided by GamePur DJ Axe Party is a Featured Contract in Hitman 3 that was added by Io Interactive developers during Season of Envy. The Contract requires you to ... Read more »

Lexi Gonzales, naiyak nang alalahanin ang pumanaw na lola

Lexi Gonzales Naging emosyonal si Lexi Gonzales nang alalahanin niya ang kaniyang lola, na pumanaw dahil sa blood infection. “Everything, like lahat ng nangyari sa buhay ko I always want ... Read more »

Abu Dhabi gives manufacturers a boost with smart initiative

© Provided by The National Strata, owned by Abu Dhabi government investment firm Mubadala, manufactures and assembles hi-tech components. The government is promoting growth in manufacturing and technology through various ... Read more »

Expenses watchdog to redact details from MPs' claims over security fears

© EPA Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer, Priti Patel and Sir Lindsay Hoyle pay respects to Sir David Amess – EPA Parliament’s expenses watchdog has said it will redact some ... Read more »

Mike Lindell wants to crush Dominion's defamation lawsuit, arguing the voting tech company is a government official. Legal experts say he has a point.

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Founder and CEO of My Pillow, conservative political activist and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell listens to former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a “Save ... Read more »

Swara Bhasker reacts after Aryan Khan's bail gets rejected by special NDPS court

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was refused bail in the drugs case by Mumbai’s Special NDPS Court on Wednesday. The bail ... Read more »

Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones says China is on a 'slow boat to the south pole' after its crypto crackdown as digital assets are here to stay

© Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/Robin Hood Paul Tudor Jones, the founder and chief investment officer of Tudor Investment Corporation. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/Robin Hood Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC that SEC approval ... Read more »

The Glass Bottle Shortage May Leave Some Wines Aging in Barrels for Too Long

© Provided by Food & Wine Abel Mitja Varela / Morsa Images / Getty Images Many of the world’s wines spend time aging in barrels — and a lot can ... Read more »

Eingekürzter SUV für China - Ford Equator Sport

Ford hat in China den Equator als Siebensitzer am Start. Jetzt folgt eine gekürzte Version, die auf den Namen Equator Sport hört. © Ford Anfang 2021 hatte Ford in China ... Read more »

Warning new scheme could leave tens of thousands unable to sell

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Boris Johnson‘s new green mortgage scheme could leave tens of thousands of people unable to sell their homes if banks are forced to ... Read more »

Joao Moutinho has already told Bruno Lage his plan as Wolves contract nears end

Joao Moutinho has already revealed his plans to become a manager in a conversation with Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Bruno Lage. Portugal legend Moutinho, who has won 140 caps for ... Read more »

Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz's brother reveals relief at guilty plea but says officials are ‘skirting responsibility'

NIKOLAS Cruz's brother has told of his relief at the Parkland shooter's guilty plea – but claimed school and state officials are “skirting responsibility” for the tragedy. Zachary Cruz, 21, ... Read more »

Richard Wilkins and his girlfriend enjoy dinner at Glass Brasserie

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Richard Wilkins enjoyed a night out with his girlfriend Nicola Dale at Sydney’s Glass Brasserie on Wednesday. The Today entertainment editor, 67, pulled out ... Read more »

Connor Goldson mixed Rangers contract messages from Steven Gerrard confidence to defender's bombshell

It’s six months since Steven Gerrard revealed Rangers were in talks with Connor Goldson over a contract extension at Ibrox. The club was on a high when the Light Blues ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: Horrifying Telstra voice-to-text blunder as man's cheerful check-in on a mate is changed to 'I want to kill myself' - leading worried cops to swarm his family home

Landscaper leaves a voicemail message which is mangled by voicemail serviceIn the middle of the friendly greeting, system added 'I'm going to kill myself'Panicked recipient called the police who rushed to the landscaper's home Read more »

‘Joy matters': UK theatre festival tackles hard-hitting issues with a sense of fun

A sense of joy and playfulness is vital for theatre’s future, even when playwrights are grappling with some of the hardest-hitting issues of our age, according to the organiser of ... Read more »