white-bellied sea eagle

White-Bellied Sea Eagle

NZ Birds of Prey / Vagrant / White-bellied Sea Eagle

  • What does the White-Bellied Sea eagle Look Like?

    white bellied sea eagle

    The White-bellied sea-eagle, or Haliaeetus leucogaster, is a magnificent Australian eagle that has a wingspan of over six feet! It has a very large powerful bill and feet, and a striking white head and belly making it hard to confuse with any of New Zealand’s native raptors.

    Despite this, most observations of this species in New Zealand have never been officially confirmed and although accepted as a vagrant to these shores, it appears that it is a very rare visitor indeed.

  • What does the White-Bellied sea eagle feed on?

    white-bellied sea eagle

    Feeding largely on fish that they pluck from the surface of the water in a spectacular swooping stall, they are most often associated with the coast or along permanent water courses and reservoirs. Spending most of their time perched between meals they are often viewed as an enormous white bird sat in a tree.

    It was once thought that there had also been a New Zealand sea-eagle called Haliaeetus australis that had become extinct. Subsequent investigations discovered that in actual fact the fossil bones that had led to this discovery were actually bones from a Bald eagle (the American species of sea-eagle) that had been mislabelled during an early expedition.

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