Haliaetus albicilla (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 123 (1766) ; (Naum.), i. p. 224, Taf. 12, 13, 14 ; Hewitson, i. p. 15, pl. iv. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 10 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 4 ; Newton, i. p. 25 ; id. Ootheca Wolleyana, pp. 45-58 ; Dresser, v. p. 551, pls. 347, 348 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 302 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 29 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 369 ; Ridgway, p. 243 ; Saunders, p. 327 ; Lilford, i. p. 8, pl. 6.
Pygargue a queue blanche, French ; Aguila pigargo, Span. ; Aquila di Marc, Ital. ; Seeadler, German ; Zec-arend, Dutch ; Orn, Icel. ; Havorn, Dan. and Norweg. ; Hafsorn, Swed. ; Meri-kotka, Finn. ; Biclochvost, Russ. ; O-jiro-washi, Jap.
Male ad. (S. Russia). Head, upper neck, and throat creamy white, the base and shafts of the feathers dark brown ; rest of the body and wings dark brown, marked here and there with brownish white ; the quills blackish ; tail nearly wedge-shape, dark brown at the extreme bases, other¬wise white ; bill and cere pale yellow, the former bluish at the tip ; legs chiefly unfeathered, light yellow ; iris straw yellow. Culmen 3.6, wing 26.5, tail 12.5, tarsus 4.2 inch. Female larger, and darker on the head and neck. The young bird has the entire plumage blackish brown, varied with fulvous, the tail dark brown ; bill blackish ; cere yellowish brown ; legs and feet dull yellowish ; iris brown.
Hab. Europe generally, north to south Greenland and Novaya Zemlya ; North Africa ; Asia Minor and Asia east to Japan, north to Kamchatka, south to N.W. India, Sind, and the Punjab ; China, Manchuria, and Corea.
As its name implies it is chiefly an inhabitant of the sea coast, large lakes, and rivers, but in some parts is often found far inland. Though large and powerful it seldom attacks any animal larger than a grouse, hare, or a lamb, but feeds prin¬cipally on fish, carrion, rabbits, and wild fowl. Its cry is a clear shrill yelp, shriller than that of the Golden Eagle. The nest is a huge structure of sticks lined with moss and grass, and is placed on a cliff, a tree, or, when in a marsh, on the ground, and the eggs are laid in April or May in Europe, or earlier in the south-eastern portions, and in December and January in Egypt. These are two in number and uniform unspotted white, rather rough in texture of shell and measure about 2.82 by 2.30.
739. HaliAetus albicilla