Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)


French: Pygargue blagre German: Weißbauch-Seeadler Spanish: Pigargo oriental
Other common names: White-bellied Fish-eagle

Falco leucogaster

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

no locality = Java


Closely related to H. sanfordi (which see); the two are sister to H. vocifer and H. vociferoides#R. Monotypic.


India and Sri Lanka through SE Asia, Andaman Is and S China, Sunda Is, Philippines, Wallacea, New Guinea and Bismarcks to Australia and Tasmania.

Descriptive notes

75–85 cm; male 1800–2900 g, larger female 2500–3900 g; wingspan 178–218 cm. Adult unmistakable; mainly white below and dark grey above, with deep-... read more


Vocalizes most frequently during pre-laying period, especially in early morning and evening, but... read more


Inshore seas and islands, coasts, estuaries and terrestrial wetlands, ranging over nearby wooded... read more

Food and feeding

Mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, carrion (with gatherings of up to 45 birds at rubbish tips) and tideline offal. Live prey... read more


May–Sept in Australia (May–Aug in N, June–Sept in S, where exceptionally to Dec); dry season in Asia and tropics, e.g.... read more


Breeding adults sedentary, juveniles dispersive, with longest recorded movement 3000 km from S to N... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Generally common, though some localized declines in S Australia through habitat destruction or disturbance to nest sites;... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).