• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Grey-headed Fish Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo by the late Laurence Poh
near Perak, Malaysia in 2002

Alternative names: Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Greater Fishing Eagle

Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus

Haliaeetus ichthyaetus


61–75 cm (24-29½ in)

  • Brownish -grey overall plumage
  • Smallish grey head
  • White belly
  • Grey bill
  • Mainly white tail with broad black subterminal band


Photo by Alok Tewari
Dist. Jhajjar, Haryana, India, February 2017

Southern Asia: found in India south of the Himalayas, and Sri Lanka, and from Burma east to northern Vietnam and south through the Malay Peninsula. Also occurs in the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Sulawesi.

Rare in western Java and there are no recent records from the east.


This is a monotypic species[1].
It was formerly placed in the genus Haliaeetus.


Slow running forested rivers and streams in lowlands, lakes, lagoons, wooded swamps and rocky mountains. Also occasionally seen along coasts and estuaries.



Their diet consists largely of fish, with the addition of some small birds and mammals such as squirrels.

They have been observed walking river edges in the search of fish.


A resident species.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2015)
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1