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 Forum Index > Associated Web Cameras > Australian White-Bellied Sea-Eagle
 Australian Sea-Eagles - 2012
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By: MaryF (offline) on Monday, April 23 2012 @ 12:34 AM EDT (Read 70027 times)  

Click on image to download MOM and DAD WBSE (Thank you liberty! )

Welcome to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest cam located at the Discovery Center, Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia!!

This is information from Geoff about the NEW cam and the NEW nest for 2012----

"The 2012 breeding season has started with a new nest."

The eagles have surprised us again this year by building a new nest about 75 metres east from the 2011 nest. Again they have chosen a Scribbly Gum tree. The nest is higher than last year about 25 metres above the ground. As in previous years they started to build the nest in early May.

Birdlife Australia was created in 2012 from the merger of Birds Australia & Bird Observation and Conservation Australia. EagleCAM is a BirdLife Australia, Southern NSW, research project. They have been studying this pair of eagles using CCTV since 2009. is an information point for White-bellied Sea-Eagles and is reporting general information to those people world wide who are interested in the White-bellied Sea-Eagle.

There have been cameras at ground level 50 metres from the nest since the second week of May.

The cams were installed in the new nest tree in June and here is the link to the cam---

This second cam link is available---it shows BOTH cams and the chat! ------

For up to date info and videos go to

Keep up to date on

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Here is an additional note from liberty1998 concerning the sound issues with the mics----

We do have a couple of mics, and those who have tuned in to our sea-eagle watch camera would have heard RF interference (talkback radio). There are four radio towers within 1km of the reserve, the closest being only 350 metres away. We are trying everything we can to reduce the levels of the interference. Geoff even called the radio station to ask them

EGGS LAID: July 12, 2012 at about 6PM----The second egg was probably laid on or about July 15, 2012

EGGS HATCHED: S3 was hatched the night of the 21st or early on the 22nd of August. First sighting was mid-morning on the 22nd.
S4 was most probably hatched early on the 24th of August based on an early morning sighting on that day.


Click on image to download The new nest and view


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By: MaryF (offline) on Wednesday, April 25 2012 @ 11:38 PM EDT  

Click on image to download Adult in flight


The White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), also known as the White-breasted Sea Eagle, is a large bird of prey.
A distinctive bird, the adult White-bellied Sea Eagle has a white head, breast, under-wing and tail. The upper parts are grey and the black under-wing flight feathers contrast with the white coverts. The tail is short and wedge-shaped.

The female is slightly larger than the male, and can measure up to 90 cm (36 in) long with a wingspan of up to 2.2 m (7 ft), and weigh 4.5 kg (10 lb). Immature birds have brown plumage which is gradually replaced by white until the age of five or six years. The call is a loud goose-like honking.

Click on image to download This gives you an idea of their size.

The White-bellied Sea Eagle is revered by indigenous people in many parts of Australia, and is the subject of various folk tales throughout its range

Mating behaviour is similar to that of the Bald Eagle with talon grasping and cartwheeling display.

Usually two dull white oval eggs measuring 55mm and incubated over 6 weeks before hatching. Eggs are incubated by both adults.

Covered in white down when they hatch which turns to brown.
Although two eggs are laid it is unusual for two to be reared successfully to fledging. One egg may be infertile or the second chick may die in the nest.
If the first clutch is lost the parents may attempt a second clutch.

Initially the male brings food and the female feeds the chicks but both parents feed the chicks as they grow larger.

FOOD: Fish, turtles, sea snakes, birds, possum and carrion.

70 to 80 days old and remain in the parents' territory for up to 6 months or until the following breeding season

One more small paragraph about WBSE in general----thanks to jwnix!

The White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) is the second largest bird of prey in Australia with a wing span of 1.8-2.2 metres (6-7 feet). It measures 75-85cm (30-33 inches) in length and can weigh up to 4.2kg (9 pounds), the female being larger and heavier than the male. Sea-eagles are found around the coast and along the major rivers of mainland Australia and Tasmania, New Guinea, South East Asia and as far west as the coast of India.

Click on image to download Juvenile sea eagle


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By: MaryF (offline) on Friday, April 27 2012 @ 02:12 PM EDT  

Click on image to download

This video is from 2009. It shows the old nest and the early camera view and gives us a "historical" look at this family.. It was sent to us by Liberty1998-----

First part of video is the two chicks aged approximately 1 month old 30th August, next one is 14th of October with one chick and food delivery from parent. Not sure when one of the chicks died.
courtesy of EagleCAM@BirdLife Discovery Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

This information about the cam and the family of eagles from Geoff Hutchinson contains a lot of good background on this pair of eagles and covers the time up until the beginning of last season last season. It was posted for us last year by lovethebabies/Darlene.

White-bellied Sea-Eagles in the Wanngal Woodland Newington Nature Reserve

There has been a Sea-Eagle nest in the woodland for many years, with a succession of eagle pairs renovating the nest in the breeding season. Historic observations go back to at least 1991. The early records are incomplete, but eagles have been observed in the woodland or fishing along the Parramatta River for many years. Both juvenile and adult Sea-Eagles have been seen in the area, but there are no early records of successful breeding. Sadly over the years, several eagles have been found dead.

The first recorded young in the nest was in 2003, when a juvenile was photographed on the nest. That bird fledged, and left the area.
In 2004, a pair built a nest in a Grey Mangrove tree on the banks of the Parramatta River– their favourite day-time place. They in fact built a second nest there, as their first was unstable. The female was sitting on eggs, which were expected to hatch soon, when she sadly died. The male was found dead nearby. Tests were conducted and it was probable that both died from the same unknown cause.

In the years following, eagles were reported, but not nesting, until 2008, when our current female nested successfully. Nest renovation and egg laying was observed and photographed from a hide nearby. We first recorded a chick in mid August and we were thrilled when it flew towards the end of October. It was found injured shortly after and taken into care, where it sadly died. The original male from this breeding was seen injured and disappeared earlier whilst the chick was still in the nest. However, there are Sea-Eagles passing, waiting for the opportunity to claim a mate or a territory, and a young adult male took on the parenting role until the chick fledged. Just after the chick fledged, the current male moved in and took up residence with our female.

In 2009, the current pair began nest renovation again and we installed our first camera. We were able to record nesting behaviour until that camera stopped working. Observations continued from the hide and from cameras on the ground. There were 2 chicks hatched, though one died early. The stronger eaglet grew to leave the nest, fledging in mid October. Again, it left the area later and we could not follow its progress.
In 2010, when nest renovation began again, we installed new cameras and were able for the first time to record behaviour at the nest for the whole breeding season. Two eggs hatched and both were reared successfully, taking their first flights in October. Both left the area in February 2011 and again, we cannot follow their progress.

Then in February 2011, the whole branch with the nest fell to the ground. We continued observations and recorded a new nest started in the same tree in May 2011. Cameras were installed again, with infra-red to allow filming at night and we continue to record their breeding behaviour. Eggs were laid in the beginning of July, a few days apart and the first chick hatched on Sunday 14 August, followed by the second the next day.

Geoff Hutchinson
Birds Australia

Click on image to download Adult WBSE


Darlene, Langley, BC


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By: MaryF (offline) on Friday, April 27 2012 @ 04:55 PM EDT  

How to tell Mom and Dad apart---courtesy of liberty1998----

Mamma is approx. 25% bigger than dad. and he is a slightly darker shade of grey.
Her eyes are a bit slanted and she has several black feathers in middle of her tail feathers.

Dad has a cleaner line at back of neck where grey meets white.
He has lots more black tail feathers. Dad's beak is shorter than mums and has a dark tip.

Jono (eaglecam FB Admin) has followed Sea Eagles in the area for several years. Here is his take on the differences...(also has a great Flickr site with lots of pics)

"The male bird is slimmer in appearance, has a thinner neck and a smaller head. His head shape is quite distinct from the female's; he has a much rounder crown. His behaviour on the nest is different also - he is much more attentive to his surroundings than the female. The female is more likely to arrange a few sticks on the nest when she is sitting whereas the male is constantly looking around into the forest. The female has a larger patch of dappled white on her shoulders and has more feathers on her legs."

Click on image to download Dad is on the left and Mom on the right in this picture.

Some information about the nest tree--courtesy of PatB----

Eucalyptus haemastoma

Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma) is an Australian eucalypt that is named after the 'scribbles' on its bark. These zigzag tracks are tunnels made by the larvae of the Scribbly Gum Moth (Ogmograptis scribula) and follow the insect's life cycle. Eggs are laid between layers of old and new bark. The larvae burrow into the new bark and, as the old bark falls away, the trails are revealed. The diameters of the tunnels increase as the larvae grow, and the ends of the tracks are where the larvae stopped to pupate.

Click on image to download

Eucalyptus haemastoma is a small to medium sized tree (or occasionally a mallee). The bark is smooth, white/grey. Juvenile leaves are stalked, ovate or broadly curved and oblique to 22 x 8 cm, pendulous and blue-green. The adult leaves are stalked, broad lanceolate or curved to 15 x 3 cm, concolourous, glossy green. White flowers appear in late spring to early summer. Capsules are pear-shaped, to about 8 mm diameter, with usually 4 enclosed valves. Distribution is restricted to the coastal plains and hills in the Sydney Region.

Click on image to download The WBSE is one beautiful bird!!


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By: MaryF (offline) on Saturday, April 28 2012 @ 01:21 AM EDT  

Just a little recap of what happened at this nest last year----

Shortly after we all started to watch this cam we were blessed with the hatching of 2 beautiful, fuzzy, white chicks dubbed S1 and S2. One on August 14th and the other the next day on the 15th. They were tended to lovingly and had their normal chick scuffles

Click on image to downloadBET

Click on image to downloadRaining22

Then came the sad words to us that at only 5 days old, on August 19th, we had lost S1.We waited and the official word came to us:

From reviewing the High Definition video footage it has shown that as mum flew back onto the nest with a pigeon carcass, she tried to release her grip but her back talon got caught in the pigeon. She tried a number of times to let it go but it would not release. She stepped forward into the nest bowl and, as normal, crouched over the chicks but unfortunately dragged the pigeon into the nest bowl. Sometime later she flew off of the nest leaving the pigeon in the bowl and on her return she stepped in as normal. One of the chicks was standing in the bowl, the other was laying down and when mum sat down it forced both chicks into the side of the nest bowl. The chick that was upright was OK but the chick that was laying down had the pigeon forced against its face and against the wall of the bowl. We think that this pressure, combined with a wet carcass, was too much for such a young chick of about 4 to 5 days old to be able to deal with and its breathing was inhibited and it suffocated. The red colouring that was seen on mum’s feathers and on both of the chicks was from the pigeon carcass.

Our tiny 4 day old S2 was a tough little bird and survived it all. Here he is looking a bit like a bedraggled Yoda.

Click on image to downloadPatB


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By: MaryF (offline) on Saturday, April 28 2012 @ 02:16 AM EDT  

Thankfully S2 not only survived but he thrived! Long before the time of this picture we were calling him "Stu". As you can see here he was often a stuffed Stu!!

Click on image to downloadBET

All too soon Stu (S2) was all grown up and ready to fledge--always a bittersweet time for we cam watchers! Often once they fledge we never see these babies that we love again.

Click on image to download

Fortunately for watchers of this cam that was not true for us. The year old Stu (S2) has visited the new nest and his parents on several occaisions and if not exactly welcomed, neither has he been chased away.

Click on image to download Stu today!! Isn't he handsome??

Liberty1998 has provided us with links to videos of S2/Stu visiting the new nest----Thanks, Liberty!! ...


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By: Darlene (offline) on Monday, April 30 2012 @ 08:32 PM EDT  

Here is history of the nest from Geoff Hutchinson:
Click on image to download

Click twice to read this article easily.

Darlene, Langley, BC
aka Eaglelover1923
aka lovethebabies

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By: JudyB (offline) on Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 09:28 PM EDT  



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