White-tailed Eagle

Haliaeetus albicilla




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Dull white

Number of Eggs:

1 - 3

Incubation Days:

35 - 45

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In large trees or rocky ledges, 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Sticks, grasses, seaweed, and bones of prey.


Most do not migrate



White-tailed Eagle: Fourth largest eagle in the world. It has a dark brown body; brown and white streaked head, neck and breast with a white tail. Bill, legs and feet are yellow and eyes are medium brown. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is dark black-brown with variable mottling on wings and tail; iris, wings and tail in general are all dark; has white markings on auxiliaries, attains adult plumage over five to six years. They do not get a yellow bill until after four to five years and they don't get their white tail until their eighth year.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

White-tailed Eagle: Builds a nest of sticks, grass, seaweed and bones of prey high in a tree or on a rocky ledge. One to three dull white eggs incubated by female 35 to 45 days. Young are fed by both sexes. One brood per year.

Foraging and Feeding

White-tailed Eagle: Their diet is varied, opportunistic and seasonal. These eagles can be very powerful hunters. They hunt for fish, mammals and birds, including young gulls, ducks, guillemots, alcids, seals, rabbits, rodents and carrion. They will also steal food from gulls. Their daily food requirement is in the range of 1.1 to 1.3 pounds.


White-tailed Eagle: Utters a bark-like call.

Similar Species

White-tailed Eagle: Bald Eagle has white undertail coverts and white head. Steller's Sea-Eagle is larger with yellow-orange bill.

The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X