Haliaetus albicilla albicilla

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< Rare and Endangered Animals of Armenia

The White-tailed Eagle

File:200px-Whitetailedeagle.jpg The White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is a very large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes other raptors such as hawks, kites and harriers. It is sometimes known as the (Grey) Sea Eagle or Erne.

This is a very large eagle which breeds in northern Europe and Asia. It has been successfully re-introduced to Scotland.

Birds in the south of its range are resident, but the most northerly birds move further south in winter.

The eagle's diet is varied, including fish, birds, rodents, and sometimes carrion.

This is a huge bird with broad "barn door" wings, large head and thick beak. The adult is mainly brown except for the distinctive white tail and the yellow bill. In juvenile birds the tail is darker

Adult females have a wingspan of approximately 2.4 meters. Males are smaller than the females.

White-tailed Eagles are sexually mature at 4 or 5 years of age. The nest is a huge edifice of sticks in a tree or coastal cliff. Nests are reused if undisturbed.

Mated pairs produce between one or two eggs per year, but it is rare for both chicks to successfully fledge. Thus, surplus chicks are sometimes removed from nests to use in reintroduction programs in areas where the species has died out.

In such programs, the birds are raised in boxes on platforms in the tree canopy and fed in such a way that they cannot see the person supplying their food, until they are old enough to fly and thus find their own food.

Sea eagles are more social than many other raptor species: an adult eagle looking for a nesting site is more likely to select a location that contains other immature eagles than one with no eagle population.

This eagle is believed to be the one in Polish Coat of Arms.

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Animal in Armenia

Սովորական սպիտակապոչ արծիվ (“Sovorakan spitakapoch artsiv”)


Rare and disappearing species. Included in the Red Book of the former USSR.

Habitat in Armenia

Registered around Lake Sevan and in Sisian region next to the River Vorotan. Used to me met only in winters and during flight periods.

Number in the wild

Not more than several pairs wintering in Armenia.

Reasons for decrease in number

Degradation of the natural habitat and the pollution of the reservoirs.

Number in captivity

According to 1976 data 23 species kept in the zoos of the former Soviet Union.

Measures of protection taken

Hunting is forbidden in the territory of Armenia. Included in the Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

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