The white-tailed eagle is one of the biggest prey in the world. Haliaeetus albicilla is the scientific name for the white-tailed eagle. They’re avian creatures. It is regarded as the fourth-largest and heaviest bird in the world. The grown eagle is grey with a mid-brown tint. The mature eagle’s neck, upper breast, and head, which are noticeably whiter in appearance than the rest of the plumage and are frequently buff in color, stand out against the rest of the bird’s plumage.
The whitetail in the shape of a wedge stands out in contrast to the adult’s general dark coloration. The cere, feet, eyes, and bill of adults are all yellow, as is the rest of their exposed bodies. White-tailed eagle often spend most of the year close to huge areas of open water and need a lot of food as well as old-growth trees or space on the sea cliffs to build their nests.
About White-tailed eagle
What They Eat
As white-tailed eagles are the fourth-largest and heaviest bird. They eat a different diet. Any given White-tailed Eagle’s diet greatly depends on geographic location and the time of year.
The opportunistic White-tailed Eagles steal food from other birds and otters. They catch fish just at the water’s surface. They will also scavenge, either by eating trash or carrion left over from other animals’ deaths.
Due to attacks by white-tailed eagles, The adults of smaller bird colonies have been known to scatter and abandon the young and the eggs. Some smaller birds have been compelled to move their whole colonies outside of the White-tailed Eagle’s migratory area as a result.
Few predators exist in the wild for adult sea eagles. However, raccoons, fishermen, bobcats, bears, and even other raptors have been known to feast on eggs and young birds.
How do White-tailed Eagle Mate?
Around the age of 4, white-tailed eagles reach maturity.
Aerial displays used in the courtship lead to the male and female locking talons and spiraling toward the ground together before breaking off just before impact.
The ties between the Eagles are unbreakable. They’ll use sticks in trees or on cliffs to construct a nest. Due to their territorial nature, eagles frequently return to the same nests year after year. When one pair of eagles passes away, another pair may move into the vacant nest
Every year in March or April, the female will lay one to three eggs. It takes roughly 40 days for both adults to complete the incubation process. While the male is away hunting and bringing back food, the female mostly takes care of protecting the chick.
The chicks may start feeding themselves around five weeks after hatching, and at about eleven weeks, they fledge (grow feathers that allow them to fly).
Features of White-tailed Eagle
- Bald eagles and white-tailed eagles are related. They occupy the same ecological niche as the Bald Eagle does in North America in Eurasia.
- The White-tailed Eagle has the widest wingspan of any eagle on average.
- Along the Norwegian coast, you will find a large number of White-tailed Eagles in all of Europe.
- The range of a White-tailed Eagle’s territory can reach 70 kilometers. They are nearly always found close to water.
- Germany’s coat of arms features a White-tailed Eagle, which is also the country’s national bird.
- The most giant eagles in Europe are white-tailed eagles.
- While White-tailed Eagles are primarily migratory in Russia and northern Asia, they are mostly stationary in Europe.
- Depending on sex, age, and season, this bird species has varied distinguishing characteristics.
- White-tailed eagles have lifelong partners. They are quite sturdily built, living for approximately 20 years, and these eagles connect to themselves for their entire life. If one of the mates passes away, the partner quickly locates a replacement.
- In a stunning courtship display, white-tailed eagles lock claws in mid-air and cartwheel downward, occasionally halting just some distance of feet over the earth or water.
Measurements of White-tailed Eagles
- Although white-tailed eagles have pale heads and necks and brown color bodies, it is their white tails that stand out the most.
- Their tails are small and have long and broad wings. Wings are measuring between 20 and 24 cm.
- The largest raptor in the UK is the white-tailed eagle. Adults often stand 90 cm (3 ft) tall, and their wingspan can extend to 2.5 m. (8ft).
Where to Find the White-tailed Eagle in the UK?
Due to vast arable and animal farming, illegal slaughter, and habitat changes, eagles in the UK were once almost extinct in the 20th century. Although there are fewer White-Tailed eagle nesting pairs in the UK, they are more dispersed there. The Isle of Wight and Norfolk will soon see the successful reintroduction of white-tailed eagles.
Due to their increased movement, they are more common throughout most of England. The west coast of Scotland and the Scottish islands are where White-Tailed Eagles are most frequently found. White-Tailed Eagles have been spotted in Northern Ireland along the north coast and in County Antrim.
The largest raptor in the UK is the white-tailed eagle, but they are still uncommon. On Scotland’s west coast, breeding and reintroduction programs are especially common, but throughout the rest of the British Isles, increasingly extensive attempts have been done in recent years.
Reintroduction of white-tailed eagles in the UK
In the early 20th century, These enormous top predators, which were once native and common throughout the British Isles, were driven to extinction in Britain and Ireland.
However, as industrialization advanced, so did the birds’ numbers in their former strongholds in Europe. According to James Reynolds of RSPB Scotland, “by the 1960s, environmental contaminants had led to significant population losses for sea eagles in much of Europe.”
40 years after its reintroduction, the white-tailed eagle is dominant along the western Scottish coast. Here are a few locations where you might see one
1- Rhea Narrows Kyle
Catch a glimpse of white-tailed eagles, otters, and seals on a ferry ride from Glenelg to Kylerhea on Skye.
2- Audible Jura
Take a boat journey to the Gulf of Corryvreckan from Crinan, Tayvallich, or Loch Sween to see the magnificent birds.
3- Tentsmuir Bay
A nice site to search for Scotland’s east coast eagles is the Tay Estuary.
4- The Minor Islands
The Isles of Rum and Canna are notable locations.
5- Glen Sunart
In the Ardnamurchan peninsula, go to the Garbh Eilean viewing hide.
6- Mull Island
This is a great site to see birds because it has the biggest population of white-tailed eagles in the nation.
Types of a Sea Eagle in the UK
If we talk about sea eagles in the UK, According to a 2020 projection, there are currently 150 pairs of sea eagles in the UK.
1- White-bellied sea eagle
The white-bellied sea eagle is also called a white-breasted sea eagle. These have sizable nocturnal predatory birds of the Accipitridae family.
The head, breast, underwing coverts, and tail of the mature white-bellied sea eagle are all white. The white coverts contrast with the grey upper parts, and the black under-wing flying feathers. Short and wedge-shaped is the tail. Birds’ dark immature plumage progressively changes to white until they are five or six years old. The call sounds like a loud goose-honking.
2- Sanford Sea eagle
Our other sea eagle from the list of sea eagles in the UK is the Sanford Sea eagle. A large, stout eagle with a dark brown or russet color, a considerably paler creamy-white head, a pronounced dark eyeliner, and a large bill. Very large wings and a tail with a diamond form are seen when flying.
Found with a preference for coastal locations between sea level and 1500 meters in elevation. The Sanford’s is most comparable to young White-bellied Sea-Eagles, but it is more consistently rufous, with a pale head and dark tail serving as a telltale sign. High-pitched, a honking “ya-ya-ya…” voice described.
3- The Steller’s sea-eagle
With a white forehead, dark body, shoulders, tail, and thighs, and bright-yellow bill, the Steller’s sea-eagle are frequently simple to identify. The Steller’s sea-eagle has evolved since then to become dark, magnificent, the largest sea-eagle, and known as the heaviest eagleDespiteof its alluring appearance and size, little is known about its habits.
4- Skye and Frisa
The next sea eagles in the UK are Skye and Frisa. The oldest pair in the UK. When they met on the Isle of Mull in 1997, they immediately fell in love. They have given birth to several young and have made a significant contribution to the recovery of the population of white-tailed eagles in the UK.
5- The Bald eagle
The bald eagle is a traditional American symbol of strength, bravery, and independence. Bald eagles are large, predatory raptors with hooked yellow beaks and brown bodies and wings. They also have a white head and tail. They have sharp black talons on the bottoms of their golden feet.
Bald eagles prefer the big lakes. Bald eagles can be spotted in the winter hunting around rivers, reservoirs, and unfrozen lakes. There are several dangers that bald eagles in the wild must contend with, including chemical contaminants like mercury, persistent organic compounds, heavy metals, and DDT.
White-tailed eagle FAQs
Q.1 The sea eagle lays how many eggs?
They only produce three to five eggs a year. Each hatchling demands a significant amount of parental time and energy.
Q.2 When do white-tailed eagle chicks begin to feed after hatching?
The chicks can begin feeding themselves shortly after hatching, at around five weeks old.
Q.3 Where do sea eagles typically reside?
The west coast of Scotland and the Scottish islands are where White-Tailed Eagles are most frequently found. White-Tailed Eagles have been spotted in Northern Ireland along the north coast and in County Antrim.
Q.4 When do sea eagle chicks begin to grow feathers?
At around 11 weeks old, they “fledge” (grow feathers that allow them to fly).
Q.5 Why is the white-tailed eagle often called the sea eagle?
The bird’s love of lochs and other coastal areas gave rise to its name.
Q.6 Are sea eagles migratory?
Although some species spend the entire year where they are, northern populations do travel south during the winter.