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Species Details [Taxonomy: HBW - BirdLife (v3)] Print... Email... 

 LC    White-bellied Sea-Eagle* Id (Atlas): 226
    Haliaeetus leucogaster

Description (7)
Image of White-bellied Sea-Eagle
 

Other Names (World)
White-bellied Sea-eagle, White-bellied Fish-Eagle, White-breasted Sea-Eagle, White-breasted Fish-Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle

Family
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)

Size
70 - 90 cm
Wingspan: 188 - 200 cm

First Described (Guide)
(Gmelin, 1788)

Derivation
Hal-i-ae-et-us - Gk, hals, sea; Gk, aetos, eagle: lëuc-o-gas'-ter - Gk, leucos, white; Gk, gaster, belly

Remarks
As an aid to identification in flight the following silhouettes may be of assistance


Gliding


Soaring

Abundance (Guide)
MC

Common around most of the coastline. Scarce along coasts near major cities.

Habitat
Usually coastal, foreshores, mudflats, sand-pits, headlands, beaches, bays, estuaries, mangroves, seasonally flooded inland swamps, lagoons and floodplains. Often far inland on large pools of major rivers.

Range (Guide)
Australia (B), Bangladesh (B), Brunei Darussalam (B), Cambodia (B), China (mainland) (B), Hong Kong (China) (B), India (B), Indonesia (B), Laos (B), Malaysia (B), Myanmar (B), Papua New Guinea (B), Philippines (B), Singapore (B), Sri Lanka (B), Thailand (B), Timor-Leste (B) (NB), Vietnam (B).

Vagrant to Christmas Island, Taiwan (China).

India and Sri Lanka through south-eastern Asia, Philippines, Wallacea, New Guinea and Bismarcks to Australia and Tasmania.
 
Image of Range of White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Throughout coastal mainland Australia and Tasmania and about some of the larger lakes and rivers.
 
Rarity Status
Currently this species is not classified as a rarity in this country OR information has not been updated.

Population
Estimated population is 1,000 - 10,000 (2010).

Status LC
Secure.

For more information see BirdLife International Species Factsheet.

Food
Mammals, tortoises, sea-snakes, fish, eels, larger crustaceans and offal.

Voice
A harsh, nasal, far-carrying, goose-like honk, 'ank, ak-ak, ank, ak-ak....' or two birds in chorus, 'ank-ank-arkakak-ank-akakak-ak'.



Xeno-Canto Sound Files (more (35)...)

 
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) [XC504379]
     by Kim Chuah Lim from Phuket, Nai Yang Beach, Thailand (call)

 
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) [XC553328]
     by Romuald Mikusek from Penang Island (near Tanjung Bungah), Pulau Pinang, Malaysia (call, flight call)

Breeding Season (Guide)
Usually May - October.

J F M A M J J A S O N D
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   


Nest
A huge structure composed of sticks, lined with leaves, high up in a tall tree, on ledges of cliffs or on the ground on off-shore islands. The same nest is often used for years in succession.

Eggs (Guide)
2; plain white; oval; about 71 x 53 mm. Incubation: about 42 days; mainly by female, but male relieves for periods during the day.

Young
Semi-altricial, nidifugous. Fledge in 63 - 70 days.

Subspecies
No subspecies.

Sanford's Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus sanfordi) is retained as a species in contrast to Debus (2006), who proposed on the basis of molecular work, that sanfordi be treated as a subspecies of White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). The BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group consider the considerable differences in morphology, size and proportion, as indicated by Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001), argue in favour of retaining sanfordi as a full species.

Forms superspecies with Sanford's Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus sanfordi).

Similar Species
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Smaller. Immatures with adults. Has a bold dark eye mark. Wings are slimmer, arched and have a black 'wrist'-mark.

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
Larger. Juveniles with juveniles and immatures. Blacker. Tail is longer and diamond-wedge shaped. Legs are fully feathered.

Compare Images


References
See References.

The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia Pizzey, G., and Knight, E., 1997, Angus & Robertson, Sydney ISBN 0 207 19691 5
Field Guide to Australian Birds Morecombe, M., 2000, Steve Parish Publishing Pty Ltd. ISBN 1 876282 10 X
Field Guide to the Birds of Australia Simpson, K., and Day, N., 1999, 6th Edition, Viking ISBN 0 670 87918 5
Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds 1988, 2nd Edition, Reader's Digest ISBN 0 949819 99 9
What Bird is That? 1984, Revised Edition, Angus & Robertson, Sydney ISBN 0 207 14846 5
Handbook of Australian, New Zealand & Antarctic Birds 1990 - , Oxford University Press, Melbourne ISBN 0 19 553244 9

More... see more information (images, calls, videos etc)


Files:
JPG files for White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) - 7 filesMP3 files for White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) - 2 files


More Information

BirdLife International

For more information about the White-bellied Sea-Eagle see... Show Articles BirdLife International Species Factsheet.


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