Lesser Fish Eagle

Lesser Fish Eagle Haliaeetus humilis


  • Haliaeetus :  Latin word hali– sea;  aetoseagle   { Sea eagle}
  • Humilis : Latin word Small, Lesser

 Vernacular Names: 

Cachar: Na daolingkashiba, Mar: Lahan Matsyagarud

Distribution inIndia:

Resident Himalayas and South West India.


Size of62-64 cm.Small and small-headed, Buteo-sized, greyish-brown fishing eagle with finely streaked, greyer head and neck, white belly and thighs, and rather uniform upper tail. Mantle and breast colour varies from maroon-brown to grey. When perched, the wings reach almost to the tail tip. It has yellow eyes (brown in juvenile), grey-brown to slate-grey cere and dull white to bluish-white legs. Juvenile browner, with lightly streaked to unmarked pale underparts and appears very pale in flight from below; has paler head and breast , brown-mottled thighs, brown-speckled bars on tail and much greater contrast between mottled wing linings and dark-tipped largely white flight feathers.


It is found in Forested margins of fast-flowing streams and rivers in lowlands and foothills; sometimes found in more open areas, especially around forested lakes and swamps.

Food Habits:

Its eats fish. Catches fish by means of short sally from streamside perch or mid-stream rock, sometimes snatching it off surface of water. Spends much of time moving about between favoured perches; occasionally soars.

Breeding Habits:

Breeds in Mar-Aug in India. Adults quite vocal during courtship. Builds large stick nest, lined with green leaves, in tall tree near river or large stream in forest. It lays a clutch of 2–3 eggs. The incubation is done by both sexes for a period of 28–30 days. The chicks are hatched as altricial. Male brings food into the nest, female stays at nest and feeds nestling for 7 weeks, chick able to feed itself by 9 weeks and at 12 weeks able to fly.