White-bellied Sea Eagle regurgitating fishing line?

on 29th November 2009

“It is a marvel what photographic images can capture. Often, moments that are too quick or sudden for our eyes could be captured unwittingly in our pictures. Some of these images could throw up clues or details that can be studied later and in the luxury of time.

“Closer scrutiny of images of the White-Bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) posted earlier (that was being mobbed by crows) revealed that, at one stage, regurgitating (or was it vomiting?) took place. Attached are cropped images showing the sequence of the eagle’s regurgitation that may be of interest.

“Before the regurgitation of some fluid-like substance, the eagle was in an awkward stance with its neck stretched and hunched (above).

“In the images above, some thread-like fluid could be seen falling out from its beak onto the structure of the TV antenna. If you look closely, the substance in the image on the right resembles a fishing line.

“The “fishing line” is also visible in the image on the left, clinging on and dripping from the dark rectangular bar.

“Surprisingly, during the period of regurgitation, a moment of respite occurred for the eagle when the crows were watching its behaviour instead of taking that opportune time to gain the upper hand.”

Kwong Wai Chong
26th November 2009

Note: Is it possible that the eagle earlier ate a fish with part of the line still attached to it? If so, there must be a hook somewhere…

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

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