Friday, 29 November 2013

141. White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

White-tailed Eagles have their European stronghold around the coast of Norway, and are also found across other parts of northern and central Europe although with a much sparser distribution. Some populations are resident (such as around the Norwegian coast, although these may move down the coast in response to severe winter weather) whereas other populations are migratory. In the UK, White-tailed Eagles have been reintroduced after they went extinct in the early 20th century - they are now found around the Western Isles of Scotland, brilliant! As the name implies, these eagles have a white tail, and also a pale head with a brown body. The juveniles are dark brown all over with a mostly dark bill and variable degrees of paler speckling depending on the freshness of their plumage and their age - like all the vultures and large eagles, it takes them several years to reach maturity. In flight, White-tailed Eagles' wings appear long and broad with long 'fingers' and are held flat or slightly arched. Their preferred habitat is along coasts and shores of large rivers, lakes and other wetlands, and they will nest on cliffs or in trees.

White-tailed Eagle, ©Andree Kröger, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Hmm, got the bill colour a bit lurid - it has more orangey tones in the photo, I'm sure it looked more lemony on my screen at home....maybe I can blame the display settings :oD

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