The second-largest bird of prey in Australia (75-85 cm in length, 180-220 cm wingspan), these birds are an impressive sight when they soar over esturaies or bays, looking for fish, birds or carrion. The adults have black-and-white plumage (as shown here) while the juveniles are browner. They are moderately common, although at a distance, it might be possible to mistake it for a pelican. Despite their great size, they can often be mobbed by much smaller birds, such as Magpie-larks and ravens.
1-2: Hastie's Swamp, Atherton, Qld, 10/03/2012
3: Cairns Esplanade, Qld, 13/10/2011.