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Steller's Sea Eagle

November 06, 2021

There is no record of the Steller's Sea Eagle for Nova Scotia that I can find. The late Dr. Ian McLaren's, "All the Birds of Nova Scotia", which is our best record and resource for Nova Scotia birds makes no mention of this bird.

I arrived early as usual but alas there was no Steller's Sea Eagle to be seen. It arrived about an hour later but was too far away except for record shots. Later it posed in another location and about a dozen cameras captured the record including mine.

Steller's sea eagle

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Steller's sea eagle
Haliaeetus pelagicus (Rausu, Japan).jpg
A Steller's sea eagle near Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Haliaeetus
H. pelagicus
Binomial name
Haliaeetus pelagicus
(Pallas, 1811)
Haliaeetus pelagicus distr.png
  breeding only
  resident all year
  winter only
  vagrant range

Aquila pelagica (Pallas, 1811)
Falco leucopterus Temminck, 1824
Falco imperator Kittlitz, 1832
Thalassaetus pelagicus (Pallas)

Steller's sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) is a large diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It was originally described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1811. No subspecies are recognised. A sturdy eagle, it has dark brown plumage with white wings and tail, and yellow beak and talons. On average, it is the heaviest eagle in the world, at about 5 to 9 kg (11 to 20 lb), but may be below the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) and Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in some standard measurements.[3]

The Steller's sea eagle lives in coastal northeastern Asia and mainly preys on fish and water birds. The Kamchatka Peninsula in Far Eastern Russia is known for its relatively large population of these birds. Around 4,000 of these eagles live there.[4] Steller's sea eagle is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List of threatened species.




Steller's Sea Eagle

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This is a lesson to be learned  by vacillation,...missed opportunities. I said to myself the eagle will soon depart and a photo of it in flight would be a coup. So all I had to do was lock my lens on the bird and widen my field of view and wait for it to depart. I didn't do it so this photograph is the result. I should listen to my own best judgment.

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