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Grey-headed Fish Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Greater Fishing Eagle

Photo by the late Laurence Poh
near Perak, Malaysia in 2002
Haliaeetus ichthyaetus


61–75 cm (24-29½ in)

  • Brownish -grey overall plumage
  • Smallish grey head
  • White belly
  • Grey bill
  • Mainly white tail with broad black subterminal band


Photo by Alok Tewari
Dist. Jhajjar, Haryana, India, February 2017

Southern Asia: found in India south of the Himalayas, and Sri Lanka, and from Burma east to northern Vietnam and south through the Malay Peninsula. Also occurs in the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Sulawesi.

Rare in western Java and there are no recent records from the east.


This is a monotypic species[1].
It was formerly placed in the genus Ichthyophaga.


Slow running forested rivers and streams in lowlands, lakes, lagoons, wooded swamps and rocky mountains. Also occasionally seen along coasts and estuaries.



Their diet consists largely of fish, with the addition of some small birds and mammals such as squirrels.

They have been observed walking river edges in the search of fish.


A resident species.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2015)
  3. BF Member observations

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