After being shot out of the sky in 2017, Mirrigin, a wedge-tailed eagle, now calls the Ipswich Nature Centre home.
Once Mirrigin had recuperated from surgery it became clear she would not be able to soar and hunt as she once had in the wild.
The decision was made by her vet that she would be rehomed to a wildlife park because of her calm nature and how well she adapted while undergoing treatment.
She has spent the past year at the Ipswich Nature Centre undergoing rehabilitation and settling into her new surrounds.
Ipswich Nature Centre senior zoologist Nicole Richards said it is a ‘real feather in our cap’ for Ipswich to be given the opportunity to care for one of the largest eagles in the world.
“Wedge-tailed eagles are Australia’s largest raptors and it is rare to be able to see one up close,” Ms Richards said.
“Mirrigin has adapted to her rehabilitation regime exceptionally well.
“Her left wing does not have a full range of movement but it has been improved by the exercise she gets each day from working with us.”
Mirrigin is currently being trained to sit on a gloved hand to be fed.
This is an important step in her ongoing care, as a wild animal, learning to trust her handlers will allow her to be more comfortable and less stressed if she needs to be physically checked over.
Right from her arrival, she formed a bond with Ipswich Nature Centre leading hand Tara Snowling.
“The first step was to just spend a lot of time with her,” Ms Snowling said.
“I watched her and learned to read her behaviours and personality developing a good relationship along the way.
“The second step was building her confidence to step up onto the glove from her perch using her favourite food as in incentive.”
Mirrigin quickly learned that the glove meant positive rewards and she is now at a point where she will happily sit on Ms Snowling’s gloved arm and eat her lunch.
This training has also kept her physically and mentally stimulated.
Her favourite food are rats and she will make excited vocalisations when she sees rat is for lunch.
She also enjoys quail, chicken, rabbits and mice.
“We are hoping in the future we can get her to a point where she can be moved outside her enclosure and go for walks,” Ms Snowling said.
“I would love for her to be able to experience new surroundings which is enriching for her and for visitors to the nature centre, a chance to appreciate how beautiful she is up close.”
Mirrigin is currently housed in a large off-display aviary.
Common Name: Wedge-tailed Eagle
Identification: A characteristic long, wedge-shaped tail, and legs that are feathered all the way to the base of the toes
Weight: Females (4.2 kg – 5.3 kg) are larger and heavier than males (3.2 kg up to 4.0 kg)
Size: 87cm – 105cm
Distribution: The Wedge-tailed Eagle is found throughout mainland Australia, Tasmania and southern New Guinea.