A white-tailed eagle over water (c) Kevin Robson

White-tailed sea eagle

White-tailed sea eagles are found near large bodies of water and coastlines across Europe and parts of Asia. Standing at an impressive 1m high with a 2.5m wingspan, they are the largest eagles in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. Sea eagles hover over water, plucking fish from the surface with their strong talons and often eating them in flight. They became extinct in Britain during the early 1900s and were re-introduced to Scotland in 1975 where they've since started to breed.

Scientific name: Haliaeetus albicilla

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Ern,
  • Erne,
  • Grey sea eagle,
  • Sea eagle,
  • White-tailed eagle,
  • White-tailed fish eagle

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Map showing the distribution of the White-tailed sea eagle taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The White-tailed sea eagle can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Russia, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the White-tailed sea eagle distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

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