Friday, December 24, 2010

Steller's Sea Eagle

(Image Source)
The Steller's Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) is an enormous raptor found on the Eastern Russian coast, as well as in Japan and parts of Korea. They inhabit coastal cliffs, as well as forested areas near bodies of water. Steller's Sea Eagles are the largest members of their genus, sporting a wingspan of up to 8ft (2.4m) and weighing up to 18lbs (8kg). They are among the largest and heaviest of the Raptors.

Steller's Sea Eagles are sexually dimorphic, with the females growing much larger than the males. Both sexes feature very striking coloring, with a dark body and white shoulders, legs, and tails. They also sport very large, yellow beaks and yellow feet. Their beaks and feet aid them in catching and tearing apart their prey. They feed off of Salmon, other fish species, small mammals, and birds. The Eagles hunt by waiting at a perch before diving down on a targeted animal. Steller's Sea Eagles are also practitioners of kleptoparasitism, meaning that they will steal kills from other birds.

(Image Source)
Like the Steller's Sea Cow, which I've written about previously, the Steller's Sea Eagle was named after Georg Wilhelm Steller, an 18th century German naturalist and explorer who did a great deal of his work in Alaska and Russia. Steller's Sea Eagles are listed as vulnerable, and have a decreasing population trend due to loss of habitat and from a loss of food supply. It is estimated that there are less than 5,000 birds remaining.

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