Fun White-Tailed Eagle Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Apr 28, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Interesting white-tailed eagle facts to amaze you.

Massive wings, protruding head, and a white feathered wedge-shaped tail, that describes the White-tailed eagle perfectly. The white streak of feathers is what earned them the name of a White-tailed eagle.

They are known to be the largest birds of prey to inhabit Europe and the fourth largest among all eagle species on Earth. They are known to mate for life and often spend their time just flying around or sitting perched on a tree with their flock.

They are diurnal creatures and their family Accipitridae includes other birds of prey who are known to be active during the day. The scientific name of the white-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, is specific to this bird subspecies. There are many interesting facts about this bird of prey.

Want to know about them? We suggest you keep on reading.

If you like reading fun facts about birds, please check out our similar ones on bluejays and hummingbirds.

White-Tailed Eagle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a White-Tailed Eagle?

As evidenced by their names, white-tailed eagles are a species of sea eagle that earned their name because of the distinct streak of white feathers on their tail. They are found around the Middle East to as far west as Iceland as well as Greenland in Europe.

What class of animal does a White-Tailed Eagle belong to?

Like all eagles around the world, the White-tailed eagle is also a bird of prey that spends most of its life near large open water bodies. They are known for their habit of staying perched on trees or high grounds most of the time.

They also soar over the water bodies looking for potential prey a lot, however, compared to the Golden eagle, their soaring habits seem quite tame.

How many White-Tailed Eagles are there in the world?

Experts have found the number of white-tailed eagles left in the world to be around 20,000-50,000. This number is inclusive of mature adults without including the hatchlings. Although they are found around most parts of Eurasia, their population is not always heavily distributed in this region, rather, it can be described as dotted across the continents.

Where does a White-Tailed Eagle live?

White-tailed eagles are found around large water bodies from the northern part of Europe to northern and middle eastern Asia.

What is a White-Tailed Eagle's habitat?

As for their habitat, white-tailed eagles are known to nest in coastal marshes, sea cliffs, as well as secluded forests, river lands, and farmlands.

Who do White-Tailed Eagles live with?

White-tailed eagles are known to often live in pairs. They have been noticed to nest near large water bodies, and rarely stray far from their home ranges. They often roost together near their nest on trees, sea cliffs, and other elevated grounds.

How long does a White-Tailed Eagle live?

Like most birds of prey, white-tailed eagles tend to live a long life. Their lifespan on average is about 20-25 years, however, the oldest recorded white-tailed eagle was about 33 years old before it died.

The survival of this species depends on various things, namely, the stability of their habitats and primary food sources, both of which are affected by humans regularly. Conservation groups are working hard to keep their population stable, and thankfully their numbers are increasing day by day.

How do they reproduce?

This bird species are known to mate for life, and the pairs often engage in a courtship display where they soar or cartwheel toward each other and interlock their talons.

They mate annually, and the breeding season generally lasts from January to July for the eagles living in the southern part of their range and April to July for the eagles living in the northern part of their range.

They are known to build their nest on large trees and it is usually made up of roots, small branches as well as sticks and lined with wool, seaweed, and moss. White-tailed sea eagles usually lay two eggs, which hatch after an incubation period of 38-42 days.

The hatchlings start to move on their own after about 10 days and fledge after about 70-80 days of hatching and fly around the breeding grounds soon after that.

They are known to become completely independent after one or two months.

What is their conservation status?

These birds are listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers were greatly impacted by habitat destruction and the loss of their primary food sources. However, conservation groups have been working hard to keep their population stable and thankfully, their numbers are now increasing day by day.

White-Tailed Eagle Fun Facts

What do White-Tailed Eagles look like?

Amazing white-tailed eagle facts to make your day.

White-tailed eagles are the largest birds of prey found in the UK. The feathers on their neck and head protrude and are pale and grow increasingly whitish as they grow older.

The plumage on the rest of the body is uniformly a grayish-brown color except for the tail where a plumage of white feathers can be seen, earning them the name white-tailed eagles.

Their wings are massive with the tips being almost finger-like in appearance. The original species in the UK went extinct in the earlier part of the 20th century, the current species was later reintroduced and as of now is quite stable.

How cute are they?

Rather than cute, white-tailed eagles look quite ferocious with their protruding heads and sharp eyes, and beaks. These birds also have a massive wingspan that is thought to be one of the largest among all eagles on Earth.

How do they communicate?

These birds are known to communicate with their distinctive calls. They use it to communicate with their mates and eaglets as well as with other members of their species. The white-tailed sea eagle is also known to communicate through body gestures, such as soaring toward their mates and wing flapping.

How big is a White-Tailed Eagle?

White-tailed eagles are thought to be the largest birds of prey in Europe and the fourth largest among all eagle species found on Earth. Their wings are thought to be one of the largest in flight.

On average, they have a body length of 26-37 in (66-94 cm), with a wingspan that is about 5.1-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) in length, some have been known to grow even larger than that. Their wingspan is about the same size as a great kangaroo, cool, huh!

How fast can a White-Tailed Eagle fly?

The white-tailed sea eagle is thought to be one of the birds with the largest wings in flight, so, of course, they fly quite fast. On average, they can fly about 43.5 mph (69 kph).

How much does a White-Tailed Eagle weigh?

White-tailed eagles are thought to be the heaviest eagles found in their range. On average, they weigh around 6.8-15.2 lb (3.1-6.9 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Eagles in general do not have sex-specific names for their male and female counterparts, and the white-tailed eagles are no different. They are one of the largest birds of prey found in Europe, however, there is some sexual dimorphism noticed in this species.

What would you call a baby White-Tailed Eagle?

Baby white-tailed eagles are called hatchlings when they have just come out of the eggs and as they grow a little older they are called eaglets until they mature into adult birds.

What do they eat?

They are scavengers whose main diet is thought to be carrion in the winter months. The rest of the year they are mostly opportunistic eaters with a diet of small mammals, fish, and any type of carrion they can find.

The females need more than double the amount of food when they are pregnant which automatically lessens after laying eggs during the winter months. They are extremely intelligent and are known to steal food from other birds and even from otters on occasion.

Are they poisonous?

No eagle, white-tailed, or otherwise, is known to be poisonous, rather, they tend to die in great numbers due to pesticides ingested from their prey.

Would they make a good pet?

It is mostly illegal to keep an eagle, white-tailed, or otherwise as a pet. In the UK you will need specific permission to keep one as a pet.

However, it is not recommended as they are wild birds and need a lot of space to fly around. Since you can not provide that in a home setting, it is possibly better not to keep any eagle as a pet.

Did you know...

The scientific name of the white-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla is specific to this subspecies of diurnal birds.

Where does the White-Tailed Eagle migrate to and from?

This bird is known to migrate within the range it is found during the beginning of winter and summer as well as during the mating season.

What is the difference between a White-Tailed Eagle and a Bald Eagle?

The white-tailed eagle is closely related to the bald eagle. However, bald eagles have shorter wingspan and larger bodies.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including umbrellabird facts and toco toucan facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable white-tailed eagle coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

Abdulqudus Mojeed picture

Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

Read full bio >