White-tailed Eagle

Haliaeetus albicilla

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

WTEA

Code 6

HALALB

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The White-tailed Hawk has a very large range that includes southeastern Texas, much of Mexico, parts of Central America, the southern Caribbean, and open habitats in most South American countries. This non-migratory bird frequents tropical grasslands and other open habitats with scattered trees and bushes. It often hovers when searching for the small mammals, birds, and lizards it preys upon and will take advantage of brush fires to catch animals feeling from the flames. This species has a very large range with a large population and has an IUCN conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

White-tailed Eagle: Fourth largest eagle in the world; has a dark brown body, brown and white streaked head, neck and breast and a white tail. The bill, legs and feet are yellow, and the eyes are medium brown. Feeds on fish, young gulls, ducks, seals, rabbits, rodents and carrion. Heavy flight with strong, deep, steady wing beats alternating with glides. Soars on thermals. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

White-tailed Eagle: Found in Norway and Russia, with important populations also found in south-west Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Germany. Small numbers can be found in the rest of Europe, the Middle East, China, India and Mongolia. Inhabits large, open expanses of lake, coast or river valley in temperate regions and tundra zones.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"krick-krick-krick-krick", "grah-grah-grah"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The White-tailed Eagle is considered a close cousin of the American Bald Eagle and occupies the same ecological niche in Eurasia. Some individuals have been found to live over 25 years.
  • Nests are often reused, sometimes for decades by successive generations of birds; one nest in Iceland has been in use for over 150 years.
  • They have a characteristic aerial courtship display which culminates in the pair locking claws mid-air and whirling earthwards in a series of spectacular cartwheels.
  • A group of eagles has many collective nouns, including an "aerie", "convocation", "jubilee", "soar", and "tower" of eagles.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for White-tailed Eagle

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Jane Wright

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BreastX
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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
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