A large bird of prey with a dark grey back and a white head, white chest and white belly. Their legs are also white and have long black talons. They have dark eyes and a light-coloured, hooked beak. When viewed in flight, the undersides of the wings are a distinctive half white and half grey-brown.
First-year juveniles have a buffish and ‘spiky’ head, contrasting with patchy cream and dark brown body and wings; underwing pattern also patchy, but note half-moon at base of tail feathers. Older juveniles have a pale buff-grey tail.
Their nests are massive, made of sticks and branches, usually found in a tall living tree near water or on a remote coastal cliff (on ground if on an island).
A wedge-shaped tail, distinctive when seen in flight.
76 cm male, 84 cm female; with a wingspan of 1.8 - 2 m
Feeds mainly off marine animals, such as fish, turtles and sea snakes, but it also takes other birds and mammals.
Hovers low over prey, or makes a sloping power-dive from height or high perch to seize fish from surface; seldon enters water.
Breeds May to August. The female carries out most of the incubation, however the male occasionally performs this duty.