Hokkaido, Japan

Steller’s sea eagle landing at sunrise. With its wings, half spread, legs down for landing. The sky is lit by the orange and yellow colors of the sunrise.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 8 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D X and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Exposure time: 1/2500s
  • ISO: 3200
  • Focal Length: 400mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4489 by 2993 pixels (WxH).

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A remarkable Steller’s sea eagle is landing at sunrise. With its wings nearly fully spread, preparing for the touchdown. Behind this magnificent bird is the ocean, and the sky is full by the orange and yellow colors of the sunrise. You see, the bird’s legs already half down to get ready to touch the ground. Its attractive appearance is impressive with its massive orange bill making a sharp hook. As well as its white upper wings, while the body itself is black. Steller’s eagle is the most powerful bird of prey throughout the world. Also, it is the heaviest eagle. Out of all the raptors, these are indeed the rarest eagles/raptors on earth. That is to say, the most elegant looking eagles.

Steller’s eagle prefers landing spots often be on higher points like trees or sea cliffs. Because they use their ‘eagle eyes’ to spot food in the sea, detecting a fish, they will fly over their prey. Indeed, sometimes diving from 30 meters to catch the prey with their claws. Steller’s eagle spends most of its time in Siberia and Russia, therefore, their primary habitat. In wintertime, they migrate to different remote places. The island Hokkaido is one place you can see them in winter.

Facts about Steller’s Sea Eagle:

  • Indeed a massive raptor.
  • Use a binocular vision.
  • Strongly hooked and bright yellow/orange bill.
  • Mainly eats fish.
  • Mainly solitary birds.
  • Undoubtedly, the largest and heaviest sea eagle of all.

Steller’s Sea Eagles, Haliaeetus pelagicus, are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN list.
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