Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus
Malay Name: Helang-Tiram Biasa
Chinese Name: 鹗
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.
Polytypic. Subspecies are: carolinensis, ridgwayi, haliaetus, cristatus.
Local Subspecies: haliaetus
Size: 55-63 cm
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.
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
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.
- Checklist Revision for August 2022 (Revisions)
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
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 19 December 2021
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.