Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus

Malay Name: Helang-Tiram Biasa

Chinese Name:

Range: Breeds across a wide distribution from Europe to eastern Siberia and Japan. Mainland population migrates to Africa through the Middle East and Indian subcontinent to continental southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: carolinensis, ridgwayi, haliaetus, cristatus.

Local Subspecies: haliaetus

Size: 55-63 cm

Identification: A large, white raptor with dark greyish-brown upperparts and a distinct thick eye stripe. Its long and slender wings often look bent around the carpal joints, especially when it is flapping. Adults of the local White-bellied Sea Eagle has much broader wings with solid black trailing edge and lacks the facial pattern. The smaller Black-winged Kites also lack the facial pattern, have a more pointed looking wing, with lighter grey upperparts. Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle is similar with its all white underparts and facial pattern, but has shorter and rounder looking wings.

Similar looking species: Black-winged Kite, Rufous-bellied Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle

Habitat: Coastal areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: This species is almost exclusively fish-eating; it is often observed fishing along coastal sites for prolonged periods of time.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant and uncommon visitor

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2021)

Location: Typically associated to coastal habitats, regularly seen from the Eagle Point at Sungei Buloh. Also observed at various raptor migration sites.

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Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Mar 05-Mar 11
Early date 01 Jul 2020
Late date 30 Jun 2016
A large fish-eating raptor normally found near waterbodies. Migrants from up north are supplemented with visitors from the surrounding region, which can be found year-round.


BirdLife International. (2021). Pandion haliaetus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22694938A206628879.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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