The white-bellied sea eagle is the national animal of Brunei. This animal is known to soar to great heights with its wings held stiff in a V-shape. The national bird of Brunei has a loud goose-like call which is very unique. Its beak is large, hooked and blue in color. With its powerful wings, the white-bellied sea eagle catches its prey in very spectacular moves. It rarely feeds on dead meat, perhaps this is why it was unveiled as the national animal of Brunei.
Brunei’s national animal, the white-bellied sea eagle mostly lives in coastal areas and also offshore islands. It can also be found along rivers, on lagoons and near reservoirs. Other than these preferred habitats, the white-bellied sea eagle can also be found in grasslands, heathlands, woodlands and forests. Other than Brunei, this species can also be found in Australia, Indonesia, China, India, and south-East Asia among other counties. Its beauty, vigor and desire to feed on fresh prey might have made it to be considered as the national animal symbol of Brunei.
Facts about the National Animal of Brunei (White-Bellied Sea Eagle)
- Common name: White-bellied sea eagle
- Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucogaster
- Average length: 70-85cm
- Average weight: Male-2.5 to 3.7kg; Female- 2.8 to 4.4kg
- Average lifespan: 30 years
- Habitat: coastal areas, along rivers, lagoons and reservoirs
- Main prey: Birds, reptiles, fish, carrion and crustaceans
- Flight height: 1400m
The white-bellied sea eagles occasionally come together where there is a lot of food. Its back and wings are grey while the underparts, rump and head are white in color. The national bird of Brunei has brown eyes and long claws. Its breeding season extends from June to February each year.
On the coat-of-arms of Brunei, one can see an image of the wings of the eagle. Perhaps this is the reason it is considered the national symbol of Brunei.