Western Osprey

Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus
Malay Name: Helang-Tiram Biasa
Chinese Name:

Breeds across a wide distrubition 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: haliaetus, carolinensis, ridgwayi.

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.

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

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 2019)

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


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2019). Pandion haliaetus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.