Rare sea eagle spotted a long way from home

TAUNTON RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Far away from its home in Asia, a rare Steller’s sea eagle was spotted by 200 bird watchers around Taunton River, Massachusetts on Dec. 20.

The eagle is reportedly the same one that went off course a year ago and has been spotted in Alaska and Canada.

Flocks of bird watchers in the Northeast said they traveled hours to the river to catch a glimpse of the eagle in what they said was once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Steller’s sea eagles, native to Russia, China, Korea and Japan, have wingspans of up to 8 feet and weigh up to 20 pounds. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed as the eagles as a vulnerable species, estimating a population of about 4,000.

“This is like the bird of the decade for people around here,” said Andrew Vitz, the state’s ornithologist.

Vitz said the bird most likely arrived in North America after it got caught in a weather-related storm. The state has no plans to capture or tag the bird, he said.


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