(Last Updated on : 08/09/2015)
Grey-Headed Fish is an eagle with a scientific name "Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
" is a fish-eating bird of prey from South East Asia. It is a large stocky raptor with adults having dark brown upper body, grey head and lighter underbelly and white legs.
Structure of Grey-Headed Fish Eagle
Grey-Headed Fish Eagle is paler with darker streaking. It is often confused with the lesser fish eagle (Ichthyophaga humilis
) and the Pallas's fish eagle. The lesser fish eagle is similar in plumage but smaller and the Pallass fish eagle shares the same habitat and feeding behaviour but is larger with longer wings and darker under parts. This bird is often called tank eagle in Sri Lanka due to its fondness for irrigation tanks. Ichthyaetus come from the Greek terms meaning fish-eagle, ichtys-fish and aetos-eagle.
Bill of Grey-Headed Fish Eagle
Grey-Headed Fish Eagle has a small bill, a small head on long neck, rounded tail and shortish legs with unfeathered tarsi and long talons. Wings are not very long and wings-tips reach less than half way down tail.
Sexes of Grey-Headed Fish Eagle
The males and females are sexually dimorphic. The grey-headed fish eagle has a body length of 61-75 cm. Females are heavier than males at 2.3-2.7 kg compared to 1.6 kg. The tail measures between 23-28 cm and the tarsus 8.5-10 cm. The wingspan measure between 155-170 cm. Adults are grey-brown with a pale grey head and pale iris, belly and tail are white with the having a broad black sub-terminal band. Breast and neck are brown, with the wings on top dark brown with blacker primaries and below brown. Juveniles the head and neck are brown, greyer on the ides of throat, with buff supercilia and whitish streaks. The rest of the upperparts are darker brown, edged with grey and secondaries and tertials faintly barred. Tail black and white marbled with broader dark subterminal band and white tip. Belly and thighs are white, while breast and flanks brown streaked with white. Iris is darker then adult eagle.
Concentration of Grey-Headed Fish Eagle
Grey-Headed Fish Eagle has a wide distribution that encompasses India and South-East Asia to Malaysia, Western Indonesia and Philippines. Grey-headed fish eagle is generally uncommon but can be rare or local. In North-East India it is found in Rajasthan
, Uttar Pradesh
. It is uncommon in North and East Sri Lanka, rare and local and Nepal and uncommon and local in Bangladesh. It is rare and local in South Thailand and rare in Laos; scarce in Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia to Sumatra; very rare in Java and Sulawesi except for a small local population and scarce in Borneo and the Philippines.
Breeding Season of Grey-Headed Fish Eagle
The breeding season of grey-headed fish eagle usually takes place between November and May across most of its mainland range, but changes from December to March in Sri Lanka, November to January in India.
Nests of Grey-Headed Fish Eagle
The nests of Grey-headed fish eagle have been found in January-March in Burma, April in Sumatra and August in Borneo, it is unclear whether these nest were old or being used for breeding. Breeding in the Prek Toal protected area of the Tonle Sap follow the flood regimes that begin in September, with eggs near hatching or hatching at peak flood waters in October-November.