White-bellied Sea Eagle

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Haliaeetis leucogaster


Size 70-85cm.

Adult white head and body, dark grey wings and back, short white wedge shaped tail, dark at the base. Juvenile; mottled brown and buff, tail whitish with black band. When soaring, wings are up-curved.

Feeding Habits

Food includes mammals, tortoises, sea-snakes, fish, juvenile ducks and swans. May also be seen flying slowly over foreshores searching for offal and carrion left by the tide.


Always near water in large trees, the nest is a huge pile of sticks lined with seaweed and leaves, often up to 30m above ground. Built by both sexes and often used over several years. Female does most of the incubating and brooding, and is fed by the male.

Traditional Owner Values

Manbarra Language Name : Gudhala meaning : Location


This bird in the Manbarra language represents Phantom Island point in the group of Palm Islands.

Places to Look

Along foreshores, large rivers and swamps. Often perched conspicuously on a high limb that gives a good view of the surroundings. Lake Ross and Toomulla Beach are good sites.


Clearing of suitable nesting trees.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville

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