White-tailed eagle

The white-tailed eagle is Hungary’s largest predatory bird. The beak of the older eagles is yellow. Its chock shaped tail is white. The plumage of the white-tailed eagle is dim brown. The plumage and beak of the younger birds are black-brown. It flies slowly and majestically. Its voice, which is high and quick, can be heard mainly in the breeding season. It can be seen near water and barrens. By the 1970’s the number of pairs that were able to incubate had decreased and did not reach 10. Today there is a steady number of white-tailed eagles in the alluvial forests of big rivers. It builds its nest on older trees and forests near water and uses it for decades if the environment is calm enough. It starts to lay eggs at the beginning of February. The female eagle usually lays two eggs, but sometimes it has only one. It gets its food mostly from water. Besides sick and weakened fish and birds near the surface of the water it often feeds on dead animals. It searches for dead animals further from the water too. The white-tailed eagle is not a good hunter, but sometimes it can capture hares and other rodents. Older specimens are around their nest throughout the whole year. The younger eagles roam until they are mature (5-6 years). Many eagles incubate their eggs in the north. These birds winter in Hungary. The white-tailed eagle is strictly protected.