White-bellied Sea Eagle sunbathing

on 11th July 2007


Johnny Wee came across a couple of White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) sunbathing at 11 am on 19th June 2007. The birds just sat quietly on the branch of a dead tree, spread their wings and soaked up the sun for about an hour (left). At that time it was sunny and windy.

Many members of the family Accipitridae to which hawks and eagles belong, spend most of their time during the day resting, in an effort to conserve energy. During these periods they just perch high up on a tree branch, sometimes on one leg, with the other drawn close to the belly. They may also indulge on preening. But they just sit and wait for an opportunity to pounce on a prey.


These raptors occasionally sunbathe in the early morning, spreading their wings to get the full benefit of the sun’s rays. After a rain storm they often spread their wings to be blown dry by the wind. These activities are usually done on a high, exposed perch. Any tall trees will do. In the rainforest they usually do so on the branches of emergent dead trees.

Johnny Wee
July 2007

Thiollay, J. M. (1994). Family Accipitridae (Hawks and Eagles). Pp. 52-205 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 2. New world vultures to guineafowl. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)