Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Species Fact Profile: Steller's Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus)

Steller's Sea Eagle
Haliaeetus pelagicus (Pallas, 1811)

Range: Northeastern Asia
Habitat: Coastal Cliffs, Estuaries, Forests
Diet: Fish (especially salmon), Small Mammals, Birds, Aquatic Invertebrates, Carrion
Social Grouping: Solitary, Mating Pairs
Reproduction: Monogamous, build large, bulky nests in February and March, either on rocky outcrops or in large trees.  The 1-3 eggs are laid later in the spring and incubate for 38 days.  Both parents care for the eggs and chicks.  Chicks fledge at 70 days and leave the nest by the end of the summer.  Adult plumage reached at 4 years of age, but not sexually mature until  6-7 years old
Lifespan: 20-25 Years
Conservation Status: IUCN Vulnerable, CITES Appendix II

  • One of the world's largest eagles, achieving a body length of 85-94 centimeters and a wingspan of 18-136 centimeters.  Females weigh up to 9 kilograms, with the smaller males weighing up to 6 kilograms (on average, it is the heaviest eagle in the world)
  • Plumage is black or brown with patches of white on the shoulders, tail, and legs.  The very large bill is yellow, as are the feet
  • Migratory - some birds remain in eastern Russia year round, but most fly south to Japan for the winter
  • Vagrants have been observed in China, the Koreas, and the United States
  • Primarily solitary and territorial, but large numbers will congregate at the site of plentiful food, such as a salmon run
  • Nests and chicks are vulnerable to small mammalian carnivores, such as sables and martens, as well as ravens; adults have no natural predators
  • Named after German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, who explored eastern Russia and Alaska with Vitus Bering in the 1700's  
  • Threatened by habitat loss (largely due to logging and construction of hydro-electric dams), as well as depletion of salmon stocks

No comments:

Post a Comment