Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucogaster
Malay Name: Helang-Laut Putih
Chinese Name: 白腹海雕
Range: Resident along the coastal regions from the Indian subcontinent through southeast Asia to Australia.
Size: 70-85 cm
Identification: Adults have all white underparts with black flight feathers, sub-adults variably greyish-brown underparts depending on age. Easily identified in flight when the wings are lifted upwards to form a shallow "v" when soaring. Sub-adults distinguished from the Grey-headed Fish Eagle by having a uniformly brown to white underparts, as opposed to having a contrasting white vent and undertail coverts.
Similar looking species: Osprey, Black-winged Kite, Grey-headed Fish Eagle
Habitat: Coastal areas and inland waterbodies.
Behaviour/Ecology: Heaviest resident bird in Singapore. Feeds primarily on fish. Has a spectacular aerial display where two birds will cling on to each other in the air with their feet and somersault downwards, letting go before they hit the ground. Loud honking call sounds almost like a duck.
Local Status: Very common resident
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2020 Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Location: Found throughout Singapore, often but not restricted to coastal area and sites near waterbodies.
- Pelagic Bird Survey at the Singapore Strait – 15 October 2016 (Trip Reports)
- RAP301: What is that raptor? (ID Articles)
- Singapore Birds Project Raptor Watch at Henderson Waves (Blog)
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (White-bellied Sea-Eagle)
BirdLife International 2020. Haliaeetus leucogaster. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020.. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Singapore Birds Project. (n.d.). White-bellied Sea Eagle. Retrieved on May 30, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/white-bellied-sea-eagle.