White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster is a large size raptor measures about 85 cm in length, 3-4kg in weight and its wingspan can reach as long as 2m. In Hong Kong, this fish-eating raptor entirely rely on coastal habitat, but occasionally wanders over freshwater pond and reservoirs. Globally, they distribute from India and Sri Lanka through Southeast Asia, Philippines, Wallacea, New Guinea and Bismarcks to Australia and Tasmania. In China, Hong Kong is the only place that hosts a regular population.
As its name implies, the whole underbody, head, neck and half of tail are purely white. Back and upper-wing covert are entirely dark grey whilst primary is black contract with white under-wing covert. Juvenile looks very different to adult by buffy belly and underwing covert, and dark brown upper breast and upper wing. The colored underpart will become paler along with time until it attain adult plumage in about 4 years old. When gliding, it holds its wings slightly uplift forming a characteristic V-shape, which is easily distinguished from other raptors. Its honking call is loud and vocal which can be heard from far distance.
In Hong Kong, it mainly lives along the coastal area, including wave-beaten sea cliff as well as tranquil inshore water. They generally avoid artificial habitat in breeding stage; non-breeding birds can wander to inland wetland such as fishpond and reservoir. The coastal habitat is of particularly important to their breeding as their nests are mostly built on big trees on seaside cliff. Prominent big tree on shrubby sea side slope is their favorite roosting site, which they usually perch on it and oversee the area looking for prey or any intruder in its territory.