Pallas's fish eagle

   ›      ›   Pallas's fish eagle - Haliaeetus leucoryphus.

The Pallas's fish eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These eagle species are distributed in central Asia, northern Indian Subcontinent and Myanmar.

Taxonomy of Pallas's fish eagle

  • Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucoryphus
  • Common Name: Pallas's fish eagle
  • French: Pygargue de Pallas; German: Bindenseeadler; Spanish: Pigargo de Pallas;
  • Other names: Aquila leucorypha Pallas, 1771; Pallas's sea eagle; band-tailed fish eagle;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Pallas, 1771)
Haliaeetus leucoryphus was earlier classified as Aquila leucorypha Pallas, 1771.

Indian birds - Image of Pallas's fish eagle - Haliaeetus leucoryphus
Indian birds - Image of Pallas's fish eagle - Haliaeetus leucoryphus


The Pallas's fish eagle is a large bird and the female is slightly larger than the male. They measure 70 to 85 cm in length. The male weighs 2,000 to 3,300 grams whereas the female weighs 2,100 to 3,700 grams. The wingspan is 180 to 215 cm. The adult eagle has dark brown plumage, with warm buffish to whitish head, neck and upper mantle. The tail is black with a wide, distinctive white band. Underwings also have a white band. Their call makes a guttural kha-kha-kha-kha or gao-gao-gao-gao sound.


These eagle species inhabits wetlands, principally large lakes and rivers, fringed by tall trees. They roost and build nest on trees close to water.

Feeding habits

These eagle species feeds mainly on fish. They also feed on small mammals, reptiles, birds and carrion.


These bird species are found to breed during September and February in India. Nests are built on tall trees near water bodies.


These birds distributed in Kazakhstan, southern Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Movement Patterns

The Pallas's fish eagle is mainly sedentary. The central Asian populations migrate southwards for wintering.

Status and conservation

The fish eagle global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 individual birds. The loss of habitat, by degradation and disturbance of wetlands, felling of adjacent nesting trees and covering of waterbodies with weeds like water hyacinth has lead to a significant decline in the population. These eagle species are considered vulnerable to further decline.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these eagle species and has listed them as "Vulnerable".

Biological classification of Haliaeetus leucoryphus
Species:H. leucoryphus
Binomial name:Haliaeetus leucoryphus
Distribution:Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Pakistan, North India and Myanmar;
Feeding habits:Mainly fish; also small mammals, reptiles, birds and carrion;
IUCN status listing:

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