The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), also known as the ern, erne, gray eagle, Eurasian sea eagle and white-tailed sea-eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes other raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers. They are found in Eurasia, near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting. They are considered a close cousin of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).
The white-tailed eagle is a very large bird. It measures 66–94 cm (26–37 in) in length with a 1.78–2.45 m (5.8–8.0 ft) wingspan. The wingspan, with a midpoint of 2.18 m (7.2 ft), is on average the largest of any eagle. The bald eagle is roughly the same size as the white-tailed eagle, although has a shorter average wingspan and usually longer total length, due to a longer tail.
This species has broad “barn door” wings, a large head and a large thick beak. The adult is mainly grayish-brown except for the slightly paler head and neck, blackish flight feathers, and distinctive white tail. All bare parts are yellow in color, including both the bill and the legs. In juvenile birds, tail and bill are darker, the tail becoming white with a dark terminal band in sub-adults.
Some individuals have been found to live over 25 years, 21 years being the average.
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