This species is classified as Vulnerable on the basis of a small estimated population which is suspected to be declining. It is judged to have distinct subpopulations, some totalling more than 250 birds. If subpopulations are found to be smaller or, conversely, that movement of birds between them means that all birds are in a single population, the species would warrant uplisting to Endangered.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Haliaeetus sanfordi (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) is retained as a species contra Debus (2006), who proposed on the basis of molecular work, that sanfordi be treated as a subspecies of H. leucogaster. The BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group consider the considerable differences in morphology, size and proportion, as indicated by Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001), argue in favour of retaining sanfordi as a full species.
70-90 cm. Only large eagle in the Solomons. Plain or mottled brown plumage. In flight, the very short tail and rather pointed wings swept upwards in a deep "V" are distinctive. Similar spp. Immature Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus has similar plumage but is smaller and has different flight action. Pied adult White-bellied Sea-eagle H. leucogaster are obvious but immatures differ only in having darker breast than belly, and brown tail (blacker in H. sanfordi) soon developing white base. Voice Series of honking cackles. Hints Common around forested islets in the Roviana and Morovo lagoons.
Cain, A. J.; Galbraith, I. C. J. 1956. Field notes on the birds of the eastern Solomon Islands. Ibis 98: 100-134, 262-295.
French, W. 1957. Birds of the Solomon Islands. Ibis 99: 126-130.
Blaber, S. J. M. 1990. A checklist and notes on the current status of birds of New Georgia, Western Province, Solomon Islands. Emu 90: 205-214.
Webb, H. P. 1992. Field observations of the birds of Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands. Emu 92: 52-57.
Buckingham, D. L.; Dutson, G. C. L.; Newman, J. L. 1995. Birds of Manus, Kolombangara and Makira (San Cristobal) with notes on mammals and records from other Solomon Islands.
Olsen, J. 1997. Notes on Sanford's Sea-eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi and other raptors in the Solomon Islands. Australian Bird Watcher 17: 81-86.
van Oosten, J. R.; Wyant, D. 1999. Interim report of the bird life in the Komarindi catchment conservation area.
Dutson, G. 2011. Birds of Melanesia: Bismarcks, Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Christopher Helm, London.
Further web sources of information
Hear sounds for this species from xeno-canto, the community database of shared bird sounds from around the world.
Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A.
Dutson, G., Hornbuckle, J.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Haliaeetus sanfordi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Family||Accipitridae (Osprey, kites, hawks and eagles)|
|Species name author||Mayr, 1935|
|Population size||250-999 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||36,300 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|