• Dansk
  • English
  • Deutsch

The white-tailed eagle

- The flying door
The white-tailed eagle is North Europe's largest bird of prey. With its impressive wingspan of up to 2.45 m, and the very square flight silhouette, it rather resembles a flying door. Adult sea eagles can also be recognised by the white tail, the bright head and yellow beak.
From headwind to tailwind
The white-tailed eagle is one of the many species of birds of prey that suffered persecution in the late 1800s. White-tailed eagles had a reputation for taking newborn lambs, geese, ducks, chickens and other farm animals. There are also some old stories about eagles taking newborn infants and carrying them off to their nests. Therefore, several places in the country would give out shooting prizes for a set of eagle talons. This meant that the breeding white-tailed eagle disappeared from Denmark, where the last white-tailed eagles hatched in 1911-12. The sea eagle was made a protected species in 1928. In 1995, the white-tailed eagle re-colonised back to Denmark and the population has been growing ever since. From being a hated predator that harmed wild and domestic animals, today the white-tailed eagle is considered as one the most spectacular and exciting birds of prey in the Danish countryside.
The white-tailed eagle, © Biopix J Madsen
Eagle days and web cam
Each year the Danish Ornithological Society holds an "Eagle Day", where you have the opportunity to see the Danish white-tailed eagles at close hand. In 2014, 61 breeding pairs of white-tailed eagles were counted in Denmark. There is also the opportunity to follow the life of an eagle in a nest on Lolland via a web camera. In winter, the Wadden Sea is home to large flocks of geese and ducks, providing a good food supply for the white-tailed eagle, which often can be seen in the area.
Denmark's largest bird of prey with a wingspan of 200-245 cm, length 70-90 cm. With a weight of up to 7 kg, the female is clearly larger than the male, which weighs up to 5.5 kg. The food consists of fish, birds and carrion. The white-tailed eagle is widespread in North Europe with the most pairs in Norway, Eastern Europe and the countries around the Baltic Sea. In Denmark, the white-tailed eagles breed at large lakes and fjords. The population is increasing, with most breeding pairs found on Lolland, South Sealand, Funen and Jutland.

The white-tailed eagle, © Biopix SD Lund