“I have several pictures of a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) feeding their chick at Changi on Wed 27th April 2011. The nest has been recycled over the years and it grew quite big. The nest is sitting on top of a tree trunk that had an almost flat top with branches spreading like a star-fish, similar to the trunk on its left (above). With such a strong base and a thick layer of interlocking branches tempered over time, I wonder if the nest is strong enough to support an adult man? This tree has been marked as a heritage tree.
“The series starts with an adult (I assumed it is a male as it was smaller in size, but stand corrected) flying in with the catch (above). Before this happened, the chick stayed hidden from view by remaining low in the nest but prop its head up immediately when it sensed the male bird flying in. The female bird joined in the feast with the chick (below left). Strangely, the male bird immediately moved aside when the female came over (below right). The male bird then flew to a higher branch. It’s interesting to note that the adult birds don’t fight over the food but are quite gracious with each other.
“The hunt for food can take more than an hour. I observed this three days earlier. During the wait, the female got restless and flew off on two occasions but came back without any food and resumed the wait for the male bird. While waiting for the male to return, I also noticed other smaller birds hovering near the nest and never seemed afraid of the bigger birds. These birds were mynahs, bee-eaters and pigeons. Some perched at the same level as the nest while others perched a few meters below. Interesting to note that these birds could co-exist with a raptor.
“My pictures were taken next to some white colonial houses built on the slopes along Cramwell Road. They have such a good view of the nest, I bet they have watched many cycles of life over the years.”
Thong Chow Ngian
27th April 2011