COUSTEAU – WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE
CLICK HERE TO ADOPT COUSTEAU
Hatch Year: 1997
Arrival to WBS: 1998
Reason for Residence: breeding loan
Cousteau arrived at World Bird Sanctuary in 1998 with a female White-Tailed Eagle from the Greater Baton Rouge Zoo as a breeding pair. Unfortunately, they were not successful in having any offspring before the female passed away. Cousteu is still with us, however, and was on public exhibit for many years where he quickly stole the hearts of many visitors and keepers with his huge personality! Cousteu is a very talkative bird and will cackle anytime he spots a volunteer or keeper he is familiar with. He is known for his willingness to fly the length of his enclosure to keep pace with staff as they walk by, or sometimes RUN the length of his enclosure to keep up.
We have recently found Cousteau a new mate, and upon her arrival to World Bird Sanctuary, they will hopefully have a successful introduction.
SPECIES: WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE
CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
Global Status listed as Least Concern, but highest conservation priority in United Kingdom. Went extinct in the United Kingdom in 1918, due to illegal killing, and the present population has been reintroduced.
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus albililla
Description: very large, broad-winged bird; wedge-shaped tail; plumage mainly brown; adult has a pale head and white tail; head and beak larger than the golden eagle; eyes, beak, and talons bright yellow
Sex: females larger than the males
Age: up to 25 years in the wild
Wingspan: 6′-8’largest of any average eagle
Weight: 9-12 lbs
Habitat: rocky coasts, but may also inhabit remote lakes and marshes further inland
Range: found across Europe; also inhabit parts of Asia
Behavior: nesting behavior very similar to the bald eagle; large stick nests built in tall trees near water; new material added to the nest each year; nests can grow huge – some as large as 6-8 feet across and 10-12 feet deep if the tree will support the weight; nest is lined with moss, seaweed or wool; 2 eggs are laid on average; incubation about 38 days; young leave the nest at about 90 days, remaining dependent on the parents for about a month longer
Diet: primarily fish; also carrion, birds, mammals and reptiles; carrion is an important diet staple for a young sea eagles while he is learning to hunt
Vocalization: various high pitched calls, as well as a low barking note
– The White-tailed Sea Eagle is the fourth largest eagle in the world.
– On the Orkney Isle in Scotland, White-tailed Sea Eagle bones have been found in some burial mounds dating close to 6000 year old, including the Tomb of the Eagles. This along with Pictish stone carvings of the birds lead historians to believe they were revered amongst early peoples.