White-Bellied Sea Eagles' Risky Nesting Behavior

White-Bellied Sea Eagles' Risky Nesting Behavior
Posted on 21-08-2023

White-Bellied Sea Eagles in India Adapting Risky Nesting Behavior on Power Towers: Study

White-bellied sea eagles in India are adopting a behavior similar to their counterparts in Australia and Thailand by selecting power towers bearing high-tension wires as their nesting sites. This newfound behavior has raised concerns about the species' well-being, as it exposes them to potential risks, according to a recent research study.

Overview of the White-Bellied Sea Eagle:

The white-bellied sea eagle, scientifically known as Haliaeetus leucogaster, is a sizable diurnal raptor.

Distribution: These eagles are widely distributed across Southeast Asia. Their range extends from southern China to Australia and Tasmania in a north-to-south direction, and from India to New Guinea in a west-to-east direction. They inhabit various islands in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Habitat: The eagles primarily inhabit coastal and oceanic environments, such as coastlines, islands, and estuaries. They also inhabit wooded regions with access to smaller water bodies like lakes, ponds, and rivers. While most white-bellied sea eagles reside at altitudes around 900 meters, some have been found at elevations as high as 1,700 meters.

Physical Characteristics: Adult eagles typically measure between 75 to 84 centimeters in length, boasting a wingspan ranging from 1.78 to 2.2 meters, and weighing in at 2.2 to 3.0 kilograms. Their distinctive appearance includes white head, neck, belly, thighs, and distal tail-feathers. The back, wing coverts, primary wing, and proximal tail-feathers can exhibit hues of dark gray to black. The eagles feature dark-brown to black eyes, featherless scaled legs and feet that may range from light-gray to cream, and sizeable black talons. Their tails are short and wedge-shaped, and their bill, with a bluish-grey tone and a darker tip, is sizeable and hooked. Sexual dimorphism is evident, with females being slightly larger than males.

Feeding Habits: White-bellied Sea Eagles are primarily piscivorous, meaning their diet predominantly consists of fish. They also consume aquatic birds, small mammals, and carrion.

Conservation Status: The white-bellied sea eagle holds a conservation status of "Least Concern" according to the IUCN.

Defining a Diurnal Bird:

A diurnal bird is a bird species that is most active during daylight hours, in contrast to nocturnal birds that come to life during the night. Diurnal birds are evolutionarily adapted to carry out tasks such as foraging, hunting, and other activities during the daytime.

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