A photo of a White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle

Haliaeetus albicilla

The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is a very large species of sea eagle widely distributed across temperate Eurasia. Like all eagles, it is a member of the family Accipitridae (or accipitrids) which includes other diurnal raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers. One of up to eleven members in the genus Haliaeetus, which are commonly called sea eagles, it is also referred to as the white-tailed sea-eagle. Sometimes, it is known as the ern or erne (depending on spelling by sources), grey sea eagle and Eurasian sea eagle. While found across a very wide range, today breeding as far west as Greenland and Iceland across to as far east as Hokkaido, Japan, they are often scarce and very spottily distributed as a nesting species, mainly due to human activities. These have included habitat alterations and destruction of wetlands, about a hundred years of systematic persecution by humans (from the early 1800s to around World War II) followed by inadvertent poisonings and epidemics of nesting failures due to various manmade chemical pesticides and organic compounds, which have threatened eagles since roughly the 1950s and continue to be a potential concern. Due to this, the white-tailed eagle was considered endangered or extinct in several countries. However, some populations have recovered well due to some governmental protections and dedicated conservationists and naturalists protecting habitats and nesting sites and partially regulating poaching and pesticide usage, as well as careful reintroductions into parts of their former range. White-tailed eagles usually live most of the year near large bodies of open water, including coastal saltwater areas and inland freshwater lakes, wetlands, bogs and rivers. It requires old-growth trees or ample sea cliffs for nesting, and an abundant food supply of fish and birds (largely water birds) amongst nearly any other available prey. Both a powerful apex predator and an opportunistic scavenger, it is considered a close cousin of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), which occupies a similar niche in North America.
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White-tailed Eagles on Birda



A map showing the sighting location
Jasn Scott
Saturday 03 Jun 2023 - 4:55pm
United Kingdom
A map showing the sighting location
Tommy Bird spotter42
Saturday 03 Jun 2023 - 1:24pm
United Kingdom
A map showing the sighting location
Kim Jensen
Saturday 03 Jun 2023 - 8:29am
A photo of a White-tailed Eagle photographed in Alltnaharrie (Allt na h-Airbhe) United Kingdom
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Matt Gable
Thursday 01 Jun 2023 - 11:09am
United Kingdom
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