Behold the majestic Pallas’s fish eagle, ruler of the skies and master of the waters. With wings spanning over six feet, this magnificent bird soars effortlessly over the rivers and lakes, scanning the crystal-clear depths for its next meal. Its piercing gaze is unmatched, a predator’s stare that strikes fear into the hearts of its prey.
|1||Common name||Pallas’s fish eagle|
|2||Scientific name||Haliaeetus leucoryphus|
|3||Colour||Brownish-black with a white head and neck|
|4||Average length||70-80 cm|
|5||Average height||30-35 cm|
|6||Type of bird||Bird of prey|
|7||Found in India in states||Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya|
|8||Habitat||Rivers, lakes, and wetlands|
Pallas’s fish eagle, also known as the Pallas’s sea eagle or band-tailed fish eagle, is a large bird of prey found in the eastern regions of Asia. It is known for its distinctive physical features, coloration, and impressive size.
Pallas’s fish eagle is a large bird of prey, measuring around 70 to 80 cm in length and having a wingspan of up to 2 meters. It has a broad head and a powerful beak, which is hooked and sharp for tearing apart its prey. Its legs are sturdy and covered in scales, which protect it from the sharp fins of its fishy prey.
The plumage of Pallas’s fish eagle is predominantly dark brown, with a lighter brown head and neck. The tail is black with a broad white band towards the end, which gives it its name “band-tailed fish eagle.” Its eyes are a striking yellow colour, and the skin around the eyes is bright yellow.
Pallas’s fish eagle stands at an average height of around 70 to 80 cm (27 to 31 inches) tall, making it one of the larger bird species found in Asia. Its powerful wings enable it to soar and glide gracefully over large bodies of water, and it can dive down quickly to snatch fish from the water’s surface.
The average length of Pallas’s fish eagle ranges from 70 to 80 cm (27 to 31 inches) long, with a wingspan of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet). It is one of the largest species of eagles found in Asia, and its size and strength make it an impressive predator in its natural habitat.
Habitat and Food
In terms of habitat, Pallas’s fish eagles prefer to live near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. They are particularly attracted to areas with abundant fish populations, as this is their primary source of food. Pallas’s fish eagles typically build their nests high in trees near the water’s edge, which provides them with a good vantage point for hunting.
As for their eating habits, Pallas’s fish eagles are carnivorous and mainly feed on fish. They are skilled hunters and will swoop down from their perches to grab fish from the water with their sharp talons. They can catch fish of various sizes, but their preferred prey is typically around 500 grams in weight. Pallas’s fish eagles have been known to hunt other animals as well, such as snakes and small mammals, but fish make up the majority of their diet.
Nesting and Nurturing
Pallas’s fish eagle is a bird of prey that belongs to the family Accipitridae. This species is known for its impressive nesting habits, which involve building large and sturdy nests in high trees near water bodies, such as rivers, lakes, and swamps. The nest is typically constructed with sticks, leaves, and other plant material, and can measure up to two meters in diameter.
The female Pallas’s fish eagle lays a clutch of one to three eggs, which are pale bluish-white in color and measure approximately 83 mm x 62 mm in size. The eggs are laid at intervals of two to three days, and the incubation period lasts around 38 to 40 days.
During the incubation period, both parents take turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm and protected. Once the eggs hatch, the parents continue to care for the young eaglets, bringing them food and protecting them from predators.
The chicks are born with fluffy white down feathers, and their eyes remain closed for the first week or so. As they grow, their feathers become darker and their eyes open, allowing them to see their surroundings and the food their parents bring them. The young eaglets fledge at around 70 to 90 days after hatching, and they continue to depend on their parents for food and protection for several months after leaving the nest.
Pallas’s fish eagle is listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, which is a higher level of threat than vulnerable.
As an endangered species, Pallas’s fish eagle is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. The population of this species is estimated to be declining, and there are believed to be only around 600 to 1,500 mature individuals left in the wild.
The main threats to Pallas’s fish eagle are habitat loss and degradation, hunting, pollution, and disturbance from human activities. These threats are particularly concerning because the species has a relatively small range and is found in fragmented populations.