Amazing Facts

Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles Eagles are large day-flying birds of prey, which along with
hawks, harriers and old-world vultures comprise the family
Accipitridae. Eagles belong to the subfamily Buteoninae, typified by
the European buzzards and large American hawks (Buteo); they are
distinguished from others of the subfamily by their large, strongly
hooked beak, great talons and keen vision. They range throughout the
world, and are famous for their powerful, stately flight.

Steller's sea eagle is one of 8 species of sea
and marine fish eagles in the genus Haliaeetus. The genus includes
large to very large eagles with powerful bills and feet, rather short
legs, unfeathered tarsi, and often bold color patterns in adults.

The genus is nearly cosmopolitan in distribution. Sea eagles frequent
coasts, lakes, and rivers, often scavenge fish, but also take live
fish, birds, and mammals.

The adult Steller's sea eagle is characterized by immense size, dark
brown to black plumage with prominent white tail, shoulders, thighs,
forehead, and usually crown (except H. p. niger). and a yellow, very
deep, strongly arched and compressed beak.

Rump, upper and undertail, and underwing coverts
also white. Eye, cere, and legs are yellow, the tail wedge-shaped.
Males and females are similar, but females are noticeably larger. Wing
length of females up to 680 mm, males 590. Weight of females up to 9
kg, males 6 kg.

First down plumage of nestlings is silky
white, the second smoky brown-gray. As in other sea eagles, remiges and
retrices of first-year (Juvenal) plumage are longer than adults.
Juvenal plumage is uniformly dark brown with white feather bases and
light mottling on retrices. Iris is dark brown, legs whitish, beak
blackish-brown. Through at least three intermediate plumages, mottling
in the tail decreases, body and wing feathering acquires a bronze cast,
and the eye and bill lighten in color. Definitive plumage is probably
reached in the fifth calendar year (based on fragmentary data from
captives). First and intermediate plumages difficult to distinguish
from those of the white-tailed sea eagle (H- albicilla) with which it
shares all of its breeding range.

Related Tags: Sea  Birds  Species  
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