Giant eagle smashes through man's windscreen

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:37
ThreadID: 92124 Views:2663 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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BREAKING NEWS:

"Northern Territory police say a 72-year-old driver ended up with scratches after one of the largest eagles in the world smashed through his windscreen.

Police say the man was driving near Mataranka, south of Darwin last night when he hit the eagle, which in turn hit him in the head.

Officers say the man was taken to the police station and given band aids for his scratches."

Band aids?? They breed 'em tough in the Territory!

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:24

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:24
Hi Allan,

He (the man that is, maybe not the eagle) was lucky to just have scratches. Wonder what happened to the poor eagle. They are so slow taking off if they have been gorging on roadkill.

We thought that we were going to have one through the windscreen once. We were pulling out of the Tropic of C stop just north of Alice when an eagle took off in front of us. We were in a big convoy so didnt have much forward vision to see things like eagles or roadkill. He was so slow gaining height that he clipped an aerial, but I ducked nonetheless!!

I guess incidents like above are a reminder to take care when you see eagles near roadkill.

Cheers,

Val

J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:32

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:32
Yes Val, the slow, or late, takeoff of birds from roadkill caused me to upgrade my horns from the pathetic OEM's.

A good blast on approach to a road feast stands a better chance of scaring the birds into the air.

But just in case, carry Bandaids in the Territory. LOL

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:37

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:37
"It is not clear if the eagle survived the crash"LINK

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Allan

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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:43

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:43
We only have small, medium and large eagles over here!!!

I'm a bit scared to go to the NT now, with all these Giant eagles flying around.


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Follow Up By: Bill BD - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:07

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:07
Yep, I give a blast on the horn when approaching any birds. It works well.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:12

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:12
Blowing your horn to wedge tails does not work. The only way to dodge them is to slow down and give them time to get out of the way in their own time. Also I have noted that they mostly fly across the road on their departure and do not take the short option to clear the road.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 14:00

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 14:00
Well Peter, it certainly improves the odds of getting them into the air even with you slowing down. And as you say, because of their size they cannot rise quickly and may fly across into the vehicle even if you are crawling past them. I was not proposing simply blowing the horn and racing on. Assumptions, assumptions.

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Allan

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Reply By: Member - Des Lexic - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:23

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:23
Wedgetails eating roadkill is a common site in the outback. Perhaps we can help the wedgies out by dragging the roadkill off the road and verges so that they have a better chance of survival
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Reply By: Off-track - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:34

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:34
Yep, pretty common with Wedgies. They are big and slow and even using your horn isnt enough to get them above your windscreen before you are on them. Best advice is to slow down to let them gain height.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 09:54

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 09:54
At last, a commonsense approach.
We all should know by now that wedgetails are slow to gain height & they are certainly big enough to see from a distance.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:52

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:52
I am not sure if this is true or not but I was told that the slow takeoff is quite often caused when the birds actually land on the road kill and their tallons lock in. To take off they first have to release their grip and then being such a heavy bird anyway the liftoff is not that fast. If I see an eagle on a kill I slow right down if possible to give then time.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: eighty matey - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 22:30

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 22:30
That might be right Pop.

We came across an eagle on a roo south of Charters Towers one day and as he was taking off he was lifting the roo about 18 inches off the ground before the roo dropped and he took off. Maybe his talons were locked into the roo.

We slowed right up and the eagle flew into a dead tree and then every Magpie, Pee Wee and Crow there started to dive bomb him so he took off with a couple of big flaps of his wings.

They're an impressive sight.

Steve
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Reply By: x4by4 - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 16:47

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 16:47
For those who are unaware of it, the Wedgies will take off into the wind, so you can select which side of the road to pass them on if there is no traffic. A slower speed also helps avoiding them.
Cheers,
Peter.
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Follow Up By: Holden4th - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 21:34

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 21:34
When I'm driving on those roads and see roadkill with birds on them, the first thing I strain to see if one of those birds is a Wedgie. If I see one or am not sure I just slow down
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 09:42

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 09:42
some people pay no attention to whats on the road.

ive got a mate who is very much more at home in the city than elsewhere. He was telling me about all manor of animlas he had run over accidently such as echidnas etc.
Bit of bad luck i thought but these things can happen.

Then I was cruising som dirt roads with him and his family when i spotted a mating pair of shinglebacks in the middle of the road and pulled up for his son to have a look at

After a bit of a look , a few photos and got them off the road he said " thanks for that - but how did you see them I would have run them over for sure"

And no theres nothing wrong with his eyesite
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 11:26

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 11:26
Spend a lot of time out in the bush, you teach yourself to notice things. Some people never get it.

Was traveling with some friend once and spotted a Thorny Devil on the side of the road. They're not big, but you learn how to spot them.

Friend was amazed I'd even seen it.
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 14:00

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 14:00
In view of all the admonishments about "blowing the horn" and "slowing down" and "common sense approach" I think that I need to say in my own defence at that I at least certainly do slow down in this or similar situations. It is probably one of the reasons that I have never hit an animal (or anything else).

However,
1) I was speaking of using the horn in regard to birds on roadkill in general, not particularly eagles.
2) Even though slowing down to a crawl approaching birds feeding on roadkill, sometimes they still do not rise even when only several metres away and a good loud horn blast scares them off.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 478904

Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 21:27

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012 at 21:27
Image Could Not Be FoundWedgetailed eagle hit by Mundrabilla jast after sunset, did not see them in the spear grass until took off into wind across the road.
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