13 April 2019


I’d just watched ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and was having a good cry at the outcome I already knew. Looking outside, I gasped; holding my hand to my chest as a melodramatic creature from a bonnet drama might do. Two Wedge-tailed Eagles were copycatting each other, circle gliding in the thermals above our home. One slowly spiraled down, while the other spun higher in a classic mirror image. 

It was balletic.

It was a serene minute in time.

Not just overemotional, now I was completely overawed.

The higher eagle made a steep nosedive, plummeting towards earth. Nearing the other raptor, it stretched its talons forward. The other eagle projected her claws, flipping upside down. The wedgies grasped each other’s claws mid-fall, hurtling out of the sky. As in old black and white movies, the birds resembled WW1 planes. I saw something I would have expected in a wildlife documentary. An eagle dogfight in the sky.                                                                                    
Two eagles cartwheeled, tumbling over each other. Joined by their legs, gravity plastered them together to form a catherine wheel. Like the Gravitron, spinning so fast the centrifugal force sticks you to the walls. When the floor drops away, you don’t know if it was you who screamed or someone else. The raptors spun with such speed, they were one blurred form in free-fall.
The moment I expected a splatter fest on my patio, the eagles let go. They were so close I could see the upturned fingers of their wingtips, and the wedged tail fanned out flat. Not only that, I could also see the multitude of caramel/beige specks and flecks in their whole bird bodies. Brown from a distance, up close their markings are beautifully varied.

Springing apart, gliding away and then together again, these massive predators cut a heart shape in the air. After coming together beak to beak, the eagles streamed away side by side.                                                                      

After the aeronautical display I closed my jaw; It had been hanging open all the whole time.
I'd never seen anything so engaging. I have no idea if they were they flirting or fighting, wooing or winning? Maybe one eagle was showing its fearless flying skills to impress a mate.

After so much Jane Austin inspired weeping, the cheesy romantic in me wanted to believe those eagles were mated for life. Seeing these predators behave like daredevils in the air, my happy face lasts all afternoon.

There are no photos of the stunt diving pair. I couldn’t stop watching them spiral for a millisecond, not for anything. The pics and film are of a lone Wedge-tailed Eagle I took this week, but watching even one fly stuns the senses.


  1. A great description of such an awesome,spectacular display of the two eagles. I would have loved to have seen it. I love how you wrote about the romance of it too. Love sense and sensibility. A beautiful moment not to be forgotten.

    1. Thank you Mary, I don't know what those eagles were doing or why. I like to think they were a nesting pair, but maybe that's just the big romantic in me. Eagles all over the world have been known to link claws and spiral down to earth at incredible speeds, but I've never seen it caught on camera. Sometimes you see things so extraordinary they make your day; this was one of those days.