Aquilla Nash, how old she is

The white-tailed eagle

The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is the largest bird of prey in Central Europe. There are eight different species of sea eagles. Occurrence and distribution: We have observed it in Germany, Scandinavia, Iceland and Lithuania. In Europe the sea eagle is a resident bird and in Russia a migratory bird. I show you some pictures about the appearance, determination and description of the white-tailed eagle. The size is 70-95 cm, the wing span up to 2.50 m and the weight up to 7 kg. These details relate to the female, the males are smaller. A full-grown sea eagle can be recognized by its large yellow beak, light head and white tail.

Appearance: Identify and recognize the adult white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

According to ring finds, white-tailed eagles can live to be 15-40 years old. Many white-tailed eagles die from poisoning at an early age. Humans, with their disturbances at the sea eagle eyrie, are the greatest enemy. White-tailed eagles have few natural enemies. The illegal pursuit of the sea eagle is still in full swing. Several dead sea eagles have been found in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein in recent years. More information under Sea Eagle Protection Hamburg. Are you just looking for where and when they breed, what they eat, the genus, the characteristics, the age, the life expectancy, the enemies, the characteristics, the weight, the eggs / clutch size, the breeding season, the wing span or the size, then look at the profile for children below.

Image for appearance: Identify and recognize an adult sea eagle

Sea eagle documentation: I have been observing the way of life of sea eagles in their habitat for years. Where does the white-tailed eagle breed? In Barsbek (Schleswig-Holstein) and Hamburg you can watch the sea eagles at the breeding site as they mend their eyrie (nest) with new twigs. The nest protection must be strictly adhered to, otherwise the breeding failure will occur. Additional clutches in sea eagles are not common. More about that soon.

White-tailed eagles building a nest in Hamburg

I have observed that white-tailed eagles are able to build a completely new eyrie (nest) within 10 days if they lose their eyrie.

Habitat: White-tailed eagles males and females at the eyrie (nest)

After the work is done, you can rest first. An eagle's nest - which has existed for decades - can easily reach a diameter of 2 meters.

Habitat: Watch the white-tailed eagle in the eyrie (nest) in Barsbek in Schleswig-Holstein

The sea eagle courtship begins in January. Their breeding ground is in trees and rock niches. White-tailed eagles have an annual brood. Their mating season begins in January. You can often hear them calling together now. The female determines the time of mating (copulate). You can now see them daily at their breeding site. They repair their eyrie / nest together for the new breeding season. Now a few pictures of courtship, of mating behavior and mating. You can also see the difference in size between males and females very clearly. More about the language of the sea eagles at:

Pictures of the courtship - mating season and reproduction of the white-tailed eagles

Breeding begins in the period from mid-February to April. The breeding period is about 38 days. The young belong to the nestlings and later to the branchlings. More on the subject of breeding behavior under Breeding behavior of white-tailed eagles.
The sea eagle couple in Barsbek (Schleswig-Holstein) only has one young chick this year. It is currently 28 days old and, as you can see, is very lovingly looked after. The first down dress (plumage) of young sea eagle chicks is white.

Way of life: Young sea eagle offspring in Barsbek in Schleswig-Holstein

The male participates in the rearing of the young just like the female. In the next photos you can see how the male feeds the young together with the female. He feeds a young male and she feeds a young female.

Pictures: feeding the young birds

In the next photo, the young sea eagle in Barsbek is 48 days old. The young birds learn to fly in the nest. It soon reached the size of an adult bird and is now constantly busy with flight exercises. At the age of 70-75 days the young can be seen as branchlings and at the age of 95 days the young sea eagles can fly very well.

Way of life: Young sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Barsbek in Schleswig-Holstein

Difference: Young sea eagles have a black beak and a dark head. The plumage and beak of the white-tailed eagle change constantly up to sexual maturity at the age of 5. I am now showing you three young birds in different plumage. The first is in the first plumage, the second is in the third plumage and the third is in the 4 plumage. Pay attention to the beak as it changes color. More about young sea eagles on my page: Rearing young sea eagles. Now a few pictures of the difference between different feathers.

Young birds in their different plumage and changes in color on their beak

If so many voluntary people in Barsbek (Schleswig-Holstein) did not support the sea eagle protection while guarding the eyrie, the sea eagles would hardly have a breeding success. And I couldn't have shown you any pictures of Barsbek. Once again you can see how important the protection of the sea eagle is. Every year in Germany many white-tailed eagles (birds of prey) are still killed by poisoning (lead poisoning). Tracking birds of prey is not only a problem in Germany, but across Europe. If you look around the internet a little, such as .at, .ch, .eu, .it, .pl .com, .fr or .net you will find that the problem is known to everyone. Too few tackle it!
Here you can find more information on hunting birds of prey in Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Hamburg. The white-tailed eagle in Germany needs more protection. After all, he is our heraldic animal (federal eagle). I hope that not as many sea eagles will be poisoned in 2021 as in 2014.

Appearance: Identify young sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) next to an adult bird

Many voluntary helpers work for sea eagle protection in Germany every year. Without the many volunteers we would not be able to observe so many sea eagles in Germany. The sea eagles are at home in almost all federal states, such as Berlin, Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Türingen and Bremen. The dangers for the birds of prey in Germany lurk everywhere. You can even see the white-tailed eagle in our neighboring countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Holland, Poland and also in England. All helpers only want one thing, to guarantee the protection of the sea eagle. In order to do justice to protection, everyone must massively combat the illegal persecution of birds of prey. It is only a few black sheep that make it difficult to protect birds of prey.

Wingspan: In the flight image, the white-tailed eagle is easy to recognize by its large wingspan, its slow and clumsy wing beat, as well as the board-like wings.

Wingspan 2.50 m: aerial photo of the sea eagle on the Elbe in Hamburg

The call / voice of the sea eagle is a very high pitched one Klü Klü and this can be up to 15 times in a row with the head held up.

Image: White-tailed eagles calling at the lake in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Here you will find information and interesting facts about the sea eagle (Pigargo). What do sea eagles eat? They feed mostly on fish. Otherwise, the diet of sea eagles consists of gulls, coots, ducks, geese, sick and weak rabbits, sick and weak hares, mice and also carrion. The observation of sea eagles is not easy because their flight distance is 300-500m. In order to take part in what is happening, you have to know where and at what time the sea eagles gather in the morning - you learn this through longer observations.

Two young sea eagles (juveniles) fighting in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

After the morning meeting, it's off to fish. I could see a sea eagle struggling with the fish it had just caught while in flight. The prey wriggled so hard that the eagle unceremoniously took it in its beak before grabbing it again with its claws. Now the sea eagle continued its flight to the nest (eyrie). In the afternoon, the sea eagles gather at a swimming area. Eagles can be observed all year round, because they are one of our resident birds. In winter they can be seen particularly well when hunting coots.

Special features of hunting behavior: white-tailed eagles with prey (fish in catch)

Here I show you how a white-tailed eagle beats a goose. Do you want to see more pictures, then go to my page sea eagles and geese.

Picture for white-tailed eagle beats goose

In the next photo you can see several eagles at their bathing area.

Watch white-tailed eagles at the bathing area in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

White-tailed eagles are very clean birds. They take a long bath every day to clean their feathers. And here are a few photos.

Images / Pictures: Young sea eagle bathing in its habitat

You can not only watch the sea eagles bathing, but also when they are hovering their young and even sleeping. When the sun is very high, an adult bird stays at the eyrie and protects the young from too much sun. They even fall asleep while doing this. What it looks like, plus a few photos.

Pictures of the new sea eagle nest - behavior of the sea eagles in the nest

To moult and feathers from the white-tailed eagle

Mauser feathers: arm swing, hand swing, tail feather, cover feathers of the white-tailed eagle

White-tailed eagles molt all year round, especially in the breeding season. Here you can see how white-tailed eagles clean their plumage and remove their moulting feathers and let them slide to the ground. I was also able to observe that white-tailed eagles can lose several feathers in a short time during the breeding season when they are under high stress. Pictures to this, under sea eagle protection. Hamburg.

Pictures of the moulting of the white-tailed eagle and the moulting feather of the white-tailed eagle's tail

Where can you see sea eagles well and where and when do sea eagles breed? Information about our observation sites. We made the best sea eagle observations on Usedom, on the Darß, in the Nossentiner Heide, in the Lewitz-MV, on the Schaalsee, on the Plönersee in Schleswig-Holstern, in Hamburg and in the Elbe meadows. We often saw the white-tailed eagle and osprey fishing together. And in the Anklamer Moor you can see the white-tailed eagle and the cormorant together in one area.

Flight image: Identify and recognize young sea eagle (juvenile)

We were lucky enough to be able to observe 2 sea eagles and 2 foxes from about 300m away. It was very interesting to see that the animals pretended not to take any notice of each other. But appearance is deceptive!
The sea eagles sat in a field and the foxes played on the edge of the grass, getting closer and closer to the sea eagles. In between the foxes moved away again. This spectacle was repeated several times.
From this we concluded that the foxes were probably planning an attack and I unpacked my camera. The two sea eagles pretended not to care what the two foxes were up to there.

Special features Hunting behavior: pictures of white-tailed eagles and foxes in their habitat

After a long time we noticed that one of the foxes stalked diagonally - without looking at the sea eagles - closer to them. We were already very excited to see what would happen next. Suddenly one of the foxes jumped towards the eagle and it flew a few meters further into the field. The other white-tailed eagle looked after and sat calmly - although the fox stopped a few meters in front of him.
It should be said that the two sea eagles are in their 4th to 5th year and the foxes were only born in this year. Perhaps it was the foxes' first encounter with sea eagles and they were not yet able to properly assess the danger the eagles could pose to them.

Special features hunting: Unique pictures of white-tailed eagles and foxes

After this attack, both foxes retreated into the deep grass.

At the end of the day we got to see how a third eagle invited to the flight exercise and so it came to a fight.

Special features: White-tailed eagles during flight exercises in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

The next morning we drove to a fish pond and hoped to experience a lot again. This was not long in coming. We discovered a female Marsh Harrier that was catching a dead fish. Not only we, but also a sea eagle saw it from a great distance. He literally fell from the sky (hunting behavior) and the Marsh Harrier fled into the reeds without fish. Now the sea eagle fetched the fish that had been left behind. There is no easier way to get to food.
More about hunting on my pages White-tailed eagles with prey or white-tailed eagles fishing.

Special features Hunting: Watch sea eagles stealing fish

If you think the white-tailed eagle will be happy with its fish, you are mistaken. Because a second sea eagle observed how easy it was to get hold of a fish (food) and tried it out right away. He came in a dive and now see for yourself from the pictures how interesting such observations are.

Special features Hunting: Watch sea eagles stealing fish

Everything about enemies of the sea eagle

Enemy No. 1 is man again. More on the subject of enemy / disturbances under News May 2014. I'll show you three pictures on which you can see that the white-tailed eagle has to be careful. We have observed over a long period of time that a pair of ospreys churned out the attacking sea eagles that came too close to their eyrie. It wasn't squeamish about it. The ospreys only gave up when the sea eagles sought the distance.

Images of the battle of the eagles - white-tailed eagles and ospreys

Many white-tailed eagles come to Germany from Scandinavia and spend the winter here on open lakes or on the coasts of Schleswig Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In winter we were lucky enough to see white-tailed eagles at Luderplatz, who tampered with the carrion that was lying around. At dusk we were amazed when an eagle owl came to eat.

Pictures of white-tailed eagles hunting

White-tailed eagle ringing in Germany

How old do sea eagles get? By ringing the birds of the white-tailed eagle chicks, you can find out later, e.g. how old they are, what their flight routes are, whether they are true to their location and how big their territory is. The size of the area is in the profile. I could observe that the white-tailed eagle chicks behaved very differently when ringing than e.g. the osprey chicks. White-tailed eagle chicks defend their eyrie vigorously against intruders (e.g. bird ringers). They attack too. I'll show you some pictures that were taken by the tree climber and myself while ringing the young sea eagles. You can also see the egg tooth at the tip of the beak, which is used to open the egg shell. From about the fifth week the egg tooth can no longer be seen at the tip of the beak.

Pictures of the white-tailed eagle ringing in Germany

Observations at the sea eagle's nest

I have seen birds of prey drag live prey into their nests just before the young leave the nest. The young birds should learn to kill their prey. Capturing that in a photo is not easy. Now I could watch a sea eagle bring live goslings into its eyrie. The adult bird watches its young as they kill the gosling before it leaves the eyrie again. I also watched a sea eagle bring a sturgeon into the nest. You can see again that sea eagles are gourmets too. The resettlement of sturgeon in Germany is successful, as you can see in the sea eagle's nest.

White-tailed eagle brings live prey (goslings) into its eyrie

Several pairs of sea eagles can be observed along the Elbe (Boizenburg-Dömitz).
A pair of white-tailed eagles has been on the Elbe island in Wilhelmsburg for a few years. You can watch the sea eagles fishing on the Elbe. In 2010 the white-tailed eagles began their first attempt at breeding, which unfortunately remained unsuccessful due to too many disturbances. The disturbances did not decrease in 2011 and so there was no breeding on the Elbe in Hamburg. It was no different with the Uhus disruption in Hamburg.
More information on my page: Sea eagles in Hamburg. White-tailed eagles breed on the Elbe island of Wilhelmsburg for the first time in 2012. 2013 had a good year for the sea eagles in Hamburg, they raised three young birds.

Crows, white-tailed eagles with prey (fish) and gray herons

White-tailed eagle on power pole

Not only ospreys can be seen on power poles, but also sea eagles. I have been observing the white-tailed eagles on the same power pole for weeks. Do you want to breed there because your eyrie was victim in the logging? I will keep watching.

Picture of white-tailed eagles on power pole

The bird pictures that you can see here on my pages, I take up myself while observing nature. Where does the sea eagle live? You can find sea eagles in Schleswig-Holstein, on the Schlei, on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, in Lower Saxony on the Weser, on the Elbe near Gartow and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the Müritz National Park, on the Schaalsee, on the Oder or in Brandenburg Take photos on the Havel.

Since I often get requests for profiles, there is now a small profile for children about the sea eagle and also the name in different languages, such as Latin, English, Spanish, French and Italian.

White-tailed eagle profile for children

Type: White-tailed eagle
Scientific name: Haliaeetus albicilla
English name: White-tailed Eagle
Spanish name: Pigargo
French name: Pygargue à queue blanche
Italian name: Aquila di mare
Genus: White-tailed eagle
Family: Hawks (Accipitridae)
Sex determination: females are larger
Size: females up to 95 cm, males up to 86 cm
Weight: females 6000g-7000g
Weight: male 4500g-5500g
Wingspan: 250 cm
Speeds: below the speed of the birds
Reproduction / mating season: January - April
Brood: 1 year brood
Everything about bird nests
Breeding season: February to July
Number of eggs / clutch size: 1-3
Incubation period: 38 days
Nestling time: 75-85 days
Diet: fish, waterfowl, mammals, carrion
Age: life expectancy 35 years
Enemies: humans, climate change, infections, weather, bacteria, viruses, parasites, feather mites, eagles, corvids, hawks, martens, raccoons
Migratory bird: Yes / Germany standing bird
Territory size: 5-50 km²
Red list: yes
The five senses of the sea eagle
Species protection: Federal Nature Conservation Act
Characteristics: Large yellow beak, light head, short white tail, huge wingspan
Characteristics: Active during the day, can see very well, can swim, hide hunter, hunting in search flight, lifelong partnership, likes to eat fish
You can find more bird species profiles for bio and information on the difference between birds of prey at: Birds of prey profiles or Birds of prey and owls.

Wind turbines the deadly danger for sea eagles

Wind turbines are not only a great danger to sea eagles, but also to all birds and bats. In Hamburg, too, a sea eagle was killed by the rotor blades of a wind turbine. Was he poisoned and was it hard to see? The responsible authority has not had the eagle examined until today. More under bird of prey tracking.

White-tailed eagle slain by the wind turbine (rotor blades) in Hamburg

I am often asked: "I have found a flightless sea eagle, what should I do?" You can find the answer under Frequently Asked Questions, Sick Bird Found - What to Do?

White-tailed eagle brings a fish to the eyrie

Photos of sea eagles from Germany

Pictures of peculiarities and behavior

If you want to learn something about the subject of ornithology - “knowledge of birds”, then visit my pages: What do birds and intelligent crows know. My page is for projects in kindergarten, district school, high school, university and school for lectures, presentations and essays in biology, zoology, in non-fiction, for species profiles, for worksheets and for presentations or an essay in biology lessons very popular. Here you will find key points, features and special features for your profile template (elementary school, secondary school, high school) about birds. My page, Seeadler is also used to study for the hunter test in Germany.
There are extra bird pages for the children in preschool and for the children in primary school, e.g. with pictures of chicks or bird portraits.
And now have fun with your own bird watching, because bird watching is always fun.

We have our most beautiful bird observations in Europe on Iceland, in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark), in Holland, in England, in Ireland, in Scotland, in Austria, in France, in Italy, in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Luxembourg, in Spain, in Portugal, in Germany in Berlin, in Hamburg on the Elbe, in Bremen, in NRW, on the Lower Rhine, in Baden-Württemberg, in Rhineland-Palatinate, in Hesse, in Saarland, in Bavaria, Made in Schleswig-Holstein, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the Lewitz, in Thuringia, in Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and in Lower Saxony.

Observations, photographs, bird pictures and author: Gerhard Brodowski Hamburg

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