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White-bellied Sea Eagle

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White-bellied Sea Eagle
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WhiteBelliedSeaEagleSmall.jpg



Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Accipitriformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Haliaeetus
Species:H. leucogaster
Binomial name
Haliaeetus leucogaster
Gmelin, 1788

The White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers.

It is resident from India through southeast Asia to Australia on coasts and major waterways. This large eagle is very distinctive. The adult has white head, breast underwing coverts and tail. The upperparts are grey and the black underwing flight feathers contrast with the white coverts. The tail is short and wedge-shaped as with its relatives, the Bald Eagle and White-tailed Eagle.

The juvenile is buff where the adult is white, and takes several years to reach adult plumage. This eagle flies with wings held in a shallow V.

As with other Haliaeetus sea eagles, the food is largely fish, but it will take other prey, including sea snakes, and carrion. On carrion, it may be accompanied by Black Kites and Brahminy Kites.

It nests, usually close to other White-bellied Sea Eagles, in large nests in trees or on coastal cliffs. Normally two eggs are laid.

External Links

Australian Museum Factsheet (http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/white_bellied_sea_eagle.htm|)

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