Steller's Sea-Eagle

Haliaeetus pelagicus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

STSE

Code 6

HALPEL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Unknown

The Steller’s Sea-Eagle is a large bird, and is the heaviest eagle in existence. Preferred breeding areas include the coastlines of the Kamchatka peninsula, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Amur River, Northern Sakhalin and the Shantar Islands of Russia. Many of these birds fly south during winter months to the southern Kuril Islands and southern parts of Japan. Occasional specimens have been found in North America, but it is not believed they are native there. Due to threats of destroyed and disappearing natural habitat, numbers have been decreasing; the current conservation rating of the Steller’s Sea-Eagle is Vulnerable.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Steller's Sea-Eagle: Large eagle, mostly black except for white forehead, shoulders, rump, lower belly, and leg feathers. Bill is large, heavy, and orange. Legs and feet are yellow. Tail is long, white, and wedge-shaped. Rare visitor to Alaska. Alternates deep wing beats with short to long glides.


Range and Habitat

Steller's Sea-Eagle: Rare vagrant to the Aleutian and other Alaskan islands. Breeds along the north Pacific coast of Asia from Bering Sea coast south to Kamchatka peninsula and north coast of Sea of Okhotsk. Spends winters south to Korea and Japanese island of Hokkaido. Found along coasts and large rivers.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"ra-ra-ra-raurau"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • A group of Steller's Sea-Eagles are collectively known as a "constellation" of sea-eagles.
  • The Steller's Sea Eagle was named for the noted 18th-century zoologist Georg Wilhelm Steller. They are also known as the Pacific or White-shouldered Eagle.
  • They are unique among all sea eagles in having a yellow bill even in juvenile birds, and possessing 14, not 12, rectrices. They are also the heaviest eagle in the world, averaging about 15 lbs.
  • This species is classified as Vulnerable. The main threats to its survival are habitat alteration, industrial pollution and over-fishing. The current population is estimated at 5,000 and decreasing.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Steller's Sea-Eagle

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X