PETALING JAYA, July 4 — It was an unusual sight for some Subang Jaya residents to witness an eagle close up — even drinking water from a container offered by locals.

The raptor, a white-bellied sea eagle that flew to a Subang Jaya park two days ago, also happily welcomed a meal of raw mackerel such as ‘kembung’ and ‘tenggiri’ fed by residents in the area.

Once it had finished its meal, it flew off to nearby trees.

SJ Echo editor and bird watcher Teoh Teik Hoong told Malay Mail that there is a huge possibility that the bird of prey was a captive bred bird and that it belongs to someone.

“Wild birds would not fly down when food is offered and this behaviour seems to fit the description that it is a captive bred bird.

“While feeding food and water, the bird watchers including myself would also make sure that there was a safe distance when feeding it — as it’s a raptor and can attack us anytime if it feels that it is being threatened.

“I think it happily drank water from the container to hydrate itself due to the scorching hot weather,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the residents are keeping a close eye on the bird to make sure it is not poached while waiting for Selangor Perhilitan to rescue the bird since it’s listed as a protected species.”

Teoh noted that the bird, which is commonly found along coastlines, needed to be rescued as he feared that poachers would track down its location and capture it.

He explained that in the meantime, a group of residents and bird watchers have observed that the raptor has been in the vicinity of the neighbourhood for the past two days.

“Since it’s roaming around the area, we don’t want people to think it’s just a pigeon or a domesticated bird and be so close to it as we’re afraid of it attacking us.

“We don’t want children and adults to get the wrong impression that it is a friendly bird and can be petted,” he said.a

According to eBird Malaysia, a document on birds in the country as shared by Teoh, the description says that the bird of prey is an enormous grey and white raptor that soars with wings held in a strong V-shape.

Predominantly found along coastlines, as well as estuaries and inland waterways, it has a short tail and has a black and white underwing pattern when flying.