(HorizonPost.com) – The Steller’s sea eagle, named after German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, is a majestic bird native to coastal Northeast Asia. In December, residents of Massachusetts spotted the raptor along the Taunton River, thousands of miles away from its home. Interestingly, experts suspect this particular bird is the same one recently observed in Alaska, Canada, and Texas.
However, senior research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Andrew Farnsworth, doesn’t believe the bird is searching for its kind but rather taking cues from its close relative – the bald eagle.
An Asian sea eagle has been spotted flying around the U.S. for nearly a year.
It was most recently seen in Massachusetts — nearly 5,000 miles from its native range.https://t.co/7JxmSEO2Sd
— NPR (@NPR) December 22, 2021
Given the similarities between the Asian eagle and the American species in “behavior, ecology, and diet,” the lone bird will likely stay close to its brethren.
Steller’s sea eagles can weigh up to 20 pounds and have a wingspan of up to an impressive 8 feet. Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer Alex Lees from the United Kingdom suspects the bird likely failed to either “switch off the instinct to disperse” or there was some other problem with his navigational abilities for him to wind up so far from home.
Although far from Asia, Farnsworth holds out hope for the bird’s chances at survival, stating that the eagle “made it so far.”
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