White-tailed eagle

Haliaetus albicilla

White-tailed eagle, photo Eero Haapanen

The white-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in Estonia. Their wingspan reaches up to 2.3 metres. Their main colour is brown; the back is slightly darker than the lower part of the body and the ‘pants’. The head and neck are slightly lighter. The white-tailed eagle has a yellow and very massive beak. Its feet are also yellow and covered with feathers starting from the middle part of the shank. Their talons are black. The birds are best known for their light tail, which they spread in a fanlike manner during flight. The white-tailed eagle prefers habitats close to waterbodies; mostly, these include spruce-mixed forests and pine forests. They build their nests from large poles on top of pine trees. They feed on animals living in water bodies. The white-tailed eagle is under protection (protection category I). Disturbing and damaging them is strictly prohibited by law.