Sydney Sea-Eagles
Identifying the difference


Note: This information relates to the pair of Sea-Eagles in Sydney Olympic Park and will not relate directly to all White-bellied Sea-Eagles.

EagleCAM is a BirdLife Australia, Southern NSW, Research Project.

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In general terms female and male White-bellied Sea-Eagles look the same. If a mating pair of eagles are seen together it is general that the female will be larger than the male. However Sydney Olympic Park Sea-Eagles do have some slight noticeable differences. These are not easily spotted and change with the light and the angle of view.

Eagle Family  

These differences may vary as the breeding season progresses and/or if the eagles are wet after rain. We will endeavour to point out the differences.


Tail Pattern

Female sitting showing tail pattern  

Female: (Lady) The female (Lady) does not have these dark markings on her tail.

Female sitting showing tail pattern  

Male: (Dad) The Male has a very distinctive black mark on his tail feathers. This has remained over many moults.
This photo was taken in June 2017 and as of July 2021 this has not changed.


When on the nest

Female and male showing shoulder pattern  

The female on the right has a distinctive lighter and mottled pattern on both shoulders (Lesser coverts). The male does not have these markings. These colourings are sometimes hard to see depending on the angle and the intensity of the light. Also, while these markings have been present up until 2019 they may change in the future with moulting. These are still visible today, 2021.