Photo credit: Ricky French

In Spike Milligan’s absurdist children’s book, Badjelly the Witch, the hero is a giant eagle named Jim who bravely rescues the young protagonists from their prison in a tower fortress. Standing with my face pressed to the netting of an oversized, outdoor aviary in the hills of Kettering, 30km south of Hobart, I wonder if I’ve just walked into a more realist, dark adaptation of the book. But instead of Jim the giant eagle gently scooping children to safety, we have Witchy-poo, the wedge-tailed eagle, dragging a bloodied wallaby carcass through the grass. All around her and the other eagles who keep a beaky watch are the feathered remains of chickens and turkeys, ripped apart and scattered like the dregs of a savage pillow fight. Welcome to the realm of the raptors…

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