What Bird was That?

To: "'Graeme Clifton'" <>, "'COG List'" <>
Subject: What Bird was That?
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 18:55:53 +1000
The new  ‘Birds of Prey of Australia (S. Debus)’ mentions carrion as among the foods for the White-bellied Sea-Eagle. Hardly surprising, they eat about as much or more a broad range of food as any local raptor.
-----Original Message-----From: Graeme Clifton [ Sent: Thursday, 13 June 2013 5:55 PM      To: COG List
Subject: [canberrabirds] What Bird was That?

Hi all,
          About 4.30 this afternoon, I went to feed horses near our house on Wanna wanna Rd which is about 10km N and a bit E of Googong Dam.

I disturbed a large whitish bird which was about 150m away from me.  It appeared to have just lifted off from a roo carcase though it was 20m away and about 5 m above the ground when I saw it.

First thought, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo but this bird was solo and not white enough and bigger.  OK a roo carcase so it must be a WT Eagle and the whitish colour must be to do with the afternoon light. The size was about right but I wasn't convinced.  The bird had flown out of sight between trees but came into sight again as it gained elevation at a distance from me of 500m plus.

No doubt, a White Breasted Sea-Eagle.  V shape wings and short tail.  Close to Googong Dam so that is reasonable, though Ive only ever seen 1 other here and that was in aerial combat with a WTE.

There is no reference in my field guides to WBSE's eating carrion.  I didn't see it on the carcase but the evidence is overwhelming that it was.

I hope it comes back tomorrow.

Graeme Clifton
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