Scientific Name: Haliastur indus
Malay Name: Helang-Tembikar Merah
Chinese Name: 栗鸢
Resident from the Indian subcontinent through southeast Asia to north and east Australia.
Polytypic. Subspecies are: indus, intermedius, girrenera, flavirostris.
Local Subspecies: intermedius
Size: 44-52 cm
Adult superficially resembles the globally famous Bald Eagle with bright rufous underparts, with white head and belly. Juveniles have variably brownish underparts depending on age. In flight easily identified by their "m" shaped wings when soaring. The similar looking Black Kite has a distinct square cut tail and a distinct small white flash on the base of the primary coverts.
Similar looking species: Black Kite
Habitat: Coastal areas.
Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on fish but also a scavenger. Has a rather funny sounding call, sounding like a whining baby.
Local Status: Common resident
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)
Location: Found throughout Singapore, often but not restricted to coastal area and sites near waterbodies.
- RAP201: How to Identify Uncommon Raptors (ID Articles)
- Pelagic Bird Trip at the Singapore Strait – 20 September 2020 (Trip Reports)
- Bird List Revision for May 2019 (Revisions)
- Pelagic Bird Survey at the Singapore Strait – 15 October 2016 (Trip Reports)
- Local extinctions of Singapore birds (Science)
- RAP301: What is that raptor? (ID Articles)
- Singapore Birds Project Raptor Watch at Henderson Waves (Blog)
BirdLife International. (2016). Haliastur indus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22695094A93489054.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.