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