Tails From The Zoo

Steller’s Sea Eagles – CJOB Zoo Knew December 4, 2009

Filed under: Birds,Zoo Animals — Scott Gray @ 5:38 pm
Tags: ,

Amur tigers were discussed on “Zoo New”, Sunday November 29, 2009 on the CJOB 68 Weekend Wakeup Show with Chris Reid.

Steller’s Sea Eagle

At the Assiniboine Park Zoo:

Male: Stanley came from a zoo in the Czech Republic. He was born in 2005.

Female: Stella came from a zoo in Estonia. She was born in 2003

The Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Steller’s sea eagle are the only ones on exhibit in Canada

IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable

Due to habitat loss, pollution DDT/PCB’s, over fishing (loss of prey), lead shot hunting (lead poisoning from scavenging)

  • Wild population estimated at 5000 (as of 2006)

Sea Eagles:

  • One of eight species of sea/fish eagle
  • Close relatives: North American bald eagle and the white-tailed eagle
  • Frequent coasts, lakes and rivers

A Bit of Biology/Ecology:

Weight:

  • Males: weigh up to 6kg
  • Females: weigh up to 9kg (females 2 to 4kg larger than males)
  • Steller’s sea eagles are similar in size to the Philippine eagle and the harpy eagle.

Average wing length:

  • Males = 590mm /1.9 ft.
  • Females = 660mm/2.1 ft
  • Total wingspan: up to 8 ft for females

Height: 85 to 94cm

Distribution:

  • Russia: Kamchatka / Amur river, Northern Korea, China and Japan
  • Breeds in Russia and over winters in Japan

Maturity:

  • 4 to 5 years for sexual maturity
  • 6 to 9 years for adult plumage

Lifespan: unknown

Sea Eagle Diet: 80% fish, 10% birds, 5% mammals, and 5% other

Fast Facts:

  • Very little is known about these birds
  • Scientific name means “Eagle of the open seas”
  • Are honoured in Japan. Their Japanese name is “O-Washi”.
  • Persecuted by hunters and poachers for stealing trapped animals.
  • Are diurnal (active during the day)
  • Adult eagles have about 7000 feathers.
  • Are named after Georg Steller (1709-1746), a German biologist who also lent his name to the Steller’s jay, Steller’s sea lion (endangered), Steller’s eider (duck- vulnerable), and Steller’s sea cow (extinct).

Compiled by Scott Gray, Education Director, Zoological Society of Manitoba

Website References:

Arkive   http://www.arkive.org/, Birdlife International   http://www.birdlife.org/, San Diego Zoo    http://www.sandiegozoo.org/, IUCN Redlist

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