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White-bellied Sea Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: White-bellied Fish Eagle; White-breasted Fish Eagle; White-breasted Sea Eagle

Photo © by cskhaw
Penang, Malaysia
Ichthyophaga leucogaster

Haliaeetus leucogaster


75-85cm (29½-33½ in)

  • White head, rump and underparts
  • Dark grey upperparts
  • Large, grey hooked bill with a darker tip
  • Brown eye
  • Creamy-white legs with long black talons

Sexes are similar. Males slightly smaller than females
Juveniles: brown, acquiring the complete adult plumage by their fourth year.

Photo © by Ken Doy
Oyster Point, Cleveland, Queensland, Australia, April 2020


Range: Southern Asia to Australasia.
Breeds coastally in much of India and from Burma and southern China south to Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore, and from the Philippines, Borneo and Sumatra east to New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Australia.

Found around virtually the entire Australian coast including Tasmania and also occurs inland along larger rivers. Resident.


This is a monotypic species[1]. Formerly included in the genus Haliaeetus


Coasts, islands, estuaries and mangroves. In some areas inland along larger rivers and around large lakes.

Photo © by anneketteringham
Over Bogmalo Beach, Goa, India, January 2006



The diet includes fish, turtles and sea snakes, birds and mammals. It also feeds on carrion such as sheep and fish along the waterline.


Two to three eggs are laid in large stick tree nests.


  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. BirdsinBackyards

Recommended Citation

External Links

24 hour webcam on a White-bellied Sea Eagle nest, located in Olympic Park, Sydney 2017 images

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1