Size: Female 80-85cm, Male 75-77cm, wingspan 190cm
A large eagle with distinctive white head and body, and contrasting grey wings and rump and a short white-tipped tail. Legs are bare and whitish. Juvenile birds are brown with paler head and patchy coloured wings, becoming lighter with age. Broad wings held stiffly upswept when soaring. Either hover over prey or dive down sharply. Donít usually enter the water though.
Often as singles or pairs watching from large trees over water, feeding on fish, snakes, small mammals and birds. Established pairs are usually sedentary and command a large territory.
Call: A deep honking or cackling.
Habitat: Coasts, estuaries, bays, islands, rivers and other waterways. Occurs and is common throughout Australia in suitable habitats.
Breeds: May-Oct. 2-3 eggs. Incubation period is 40 days and 65-70 days then til fledging. The chicks remain dependent for 2-3 more months. Nest is a very large platform of sticks, seaweed and rope etc, usually high in a tree or pylon. Can be as low as ground level though. The nest is used each season and built upon each year. Both birds defend the nest vigourously.