The white-bellied sea eagle is the second largest bird of prey in Australia and can be found in the Bundaberg region.
The white-bellied sea eagle is the second largest bird of prey in Australia and can be found in the Bundaberg region.

Get to know the majestic white-bellied sea eagle

The white-bellied Sea-eagle is the second largest bird of prey found in Australia with the largest being the Wedge-tailed Eagle.

The White-bellied Sea-eagle has white on the head, rump and underparts and dark grey on the back and wings.

The large, hooked bill is grey with a darker tip, and the eye is dark brown. The legs and feet are cream-white, with long black talons.

It can often be seen soaring along the coastline looking for fish, sea snakes, other birds and carrion.

It is a skilled hunter, and will attack prey up to the size of a swan.

It can also be found well inland at places like Lake Monduran.

They have a loud 'goose like' honking call which is mostly heard during the breeding season from May to August.

They build large stick nests, often in the top of a tall tree, that are used year after year and end up being massive structures.

The nest is lined with green leaves and the female will usually lay two eggs and she does most of the incubation.

Both parents will feed the chicks in the nest.

The juvenile first year birds have a dark brown body and wings very different from their parents and it can be five years before they gradually develop full adult plumage.

Once they reach maturity at five years they will start breeding and can live for up to thirty years

There is nothing more exciting than to watch a white-bellied Sea-eagle swoop down from the sky and take a fish from the surface of the sea.

It is one of our most spectacular birds.

The best places to see this bird is around the coast from Moore Park to Elliott Heads and along the Burnett River.

Allan Briggs is the Secretary of BirdLife Capricornia. Ask him your bird questions at abriggs@irock.com.au



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