(Haliastur sphenuris)

Length:  50-60 cm Common

Distribution Australia generally, very rare in Tasmania; also occurs in New Guinea and New Caledonia. Also called Whistling Eagle and Carrion Hawk.

Common and widespread; usually in pairs, frequently around coastal and inland districts. Its flight is buoyant and easy and it often soars to a great height, uttering a shrill whistling cry that is audible at a distance of a kilometre or more.

In coastal districts it is a confirmed scavenger feeding upon dead fish and offal left by the tides. It also feeds on small mammals; birds, lizards, carrion and insects. In many districts rabbits are its chief prey. In all cases the prey appears to be taken on the ground.

Breeding season is practically throughout the year. The nest is large, rather flat; composed of sticks and lined with leaves; placed on a horizontal branch of a tree, occasionally an old nest of another bird is used. Eggs: 2 or 3; white or bluish white, sparsely spotted lavender and reddish brown.