Steller’s sea-eagle is the largest bird in the genus Haliaeetus and possibly the heaviest eagle in the world. Its weight ranges from 5 to 9 kilos, with females being heavier than males.
It has a white forehead, yellow eyes with a dark pupils, and a really large, yellow hooked bill. Its body is dark-brown or black with white shoulders, belly, wings, legs, and tail. Its feet are yellow with sharp talons.
Juveniles are similar to adults, but they have no white shoulders, and the end of their tails are dark. It takes around four years for them to attain the coloring of the adults.
Steller’s Sea-Eagle has a very rare dark morph that has black feathers everywhere except for its white tail.
- Haliaeetus pelagicus
- Length: 42 – 45 in (107 – 114 cm)
- Weight: 273.6 oz (7754 g)
- Wingspan: 86 – 98 in (218 – 249 cm)
Steller’s Sea-Eagles are usually found in the rocky seacoasts and rivers of northeastern Siberia in Russia. They migrate to Korea, Japan, and China during winter, staying in coastal areas and on lakes near the coast. However, they occasionally wander into North America.
Habitat And Diet
Steller’s Sea-Eagles love fish, particularly river fish like salmon and trout, which they hunt in shallow water. They also consume salmon that die after spawning because these are more abundant and available in areas with unfrozen water in autumn.
In other areas, they may also hunt and feed on water birds like ducks, geese, swans, and cranes. Mammals are also part of their diet. They favor the American mink, Arctic fox, red fox, and small domestic dogs.
Steller’s Sea Eagle Calls:
Nests of Steller’s Sea Eagle, or as they’re called “aeries,” are built on tops of trees or on rocky outcrops, as high as 100 feet above the ground. While they’re high, they’re still close to the water so that they have easy access to food from their nests.
Steller’s Sea-Eagles build massive nests out of sticks and branches. Since they tend to reuse these nests, they keep adding more sticks and branches to them to keep them sturdy and strong.
The female lays one to three eggs in their chosen nest. Incubation lasts as long as forty-five days. When the chicks hatch, they need all the protection they can get, as it takes about a couple of months or so for them to fly.
Steller’s Sea-Eagles are considered “Vulnerable” due to threats of habitat destruction, industrial pollution, and over-fishing.
Steller’s Sea Eagles sometimes build a second alternate nest in the event that the first one becomes so heavy that the branches it’s sitting on can’t carry the weight and break.