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Dieren en planten

Raptors   White-tailed eagle   Buzzard   Harriers   Falcons   Raptors and owls   

Water en land

White-tailed eagle


77-92 centimeters
wingspan: 200-245 centimeters

color (adults):

mainly brown, pale head and neck, blackish wing tips, white tail, yellow beak and legs


fish (carp), birds (geese, coots and ducks), carrion, rabbits, hares


man via poachers, poisoning and egg thieves

Dutch nesting bird:

one pair since 2006; winter guest


nest in tree, coastal cliff or marshy areas


maturity: 4-5 years
number of eggs per nest: 2

life span:

unknown (maximum known age: + 28 years)

  • Dut: (Europese) zeearend
  • Eng: White-tailed eagle
  • Fre: Pygargue ŗ queue blanche
  • Ger: Seeadler
  • Dan: HavÝrn
  • Nor: HavÝrn
  • Fries: Goes-earn
  • Lat: Haliaeetus albicilla
White-tailed eagle, Photo Staatsbosbeheer/Vincent Wigbels, under

White-tailed eagle

White-tailed eagles are very loyal birds and mate for life. They are known for re-using nests, sometimes for generations. A nest in Iceland was in use for more than 150 years! With its broad long wings spreading more than 2 meters in length, the white-tailed eagle is an exceptionally spectacular bird to observe. There are stories about white-tailed eagles that hunt roe deer in groups, although usually unsuccessfully. This fascinating bird had practically disappeared in Europe. Intensive re-introduction programs to protect it have resulted in a steady recovery.

On Texel

February 2013 was a fantastic time for bird-lovers: two white-tailed eagles were seen simultaneously on Texel! It's unusual enough to spot one of these 'flying doors' but two is totally unique. The first bird was already one week on Texel before the second one was spotted. It was a female, ringed in Lauwersmeer as a chick in 2012. The birds were easy to tell apart since the other bird had no ring but it did have a light spot at the back of its head, which the ringed bird didn't have.

For a moment, rumors were flying about: is there going to be a white-eagle nest on Texel? Unfortunately... both birds were juveniles. White-tailed eagles only start brooding at 4 or 5 years old. These birds were estimated much younger. During their first few years of life, white-tailed eagles are known to roam around. It's pure consequential that these two were on Texel at the same time.

  • In the Netherlands

    In Dutch, white-tailed eagles are called 'sea eagles'. However marsh eagles would make a better name for this airborne giant, since they are seen more often inland than by the sea. Their favorite hunting grounds are large freshwater regions. White-tailed eagles spend the winter every year now in the Oostvaardersplassen, the Biesbosch, Lauwersmeer, the South-Holland islands/ Zeeuws delta and sometimes around the wadden region. Since 2006, a pair of eagles has been nesting in the Oostvaardersplassen and has been successful in†raising chicks.†A pair in Lauwersmeer succeeded in raising one chick in 2011.

  • Protection
    • Monitoring: Network Ecological Monitoring
    • Policy: Target Species List
    • National legislation: Flora and Fauna Regulation
    • European Agreement: Bird Directive, CITES ordinance
    • International: Bern Convention, Bonn Convention
    • International Red List: 2004 IUCN Red List of threatened Species