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The grey-headed fish eagle is a striking bird and an impressive hunter, with a relatively small head, longish neck and a powerful, grey beak. The plumage is brownish-grey on the upperparts and white below . It has relatively short legs, a rounded tail, sandy-yellow eyes, and long, black talons. The female grey-headed fish eagle is usually larger and heavier than the male and juveniles can be recognised by the white belly mottled with brown.