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Steller's Sea Eagle

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I'm not a birder, but this is pretty d@mn cool to have such a rare visitor in the area.  Impressive raptor.

(copied from Boston.com, but removed all embedded links-  hopefully ok to share here)

 

Rare eagle spotted in Massachusetts, thousands of miles away from home in Asia

The eagle was seen near the Taunton River.

 

A rare Steller’s sea eagle was spotted along the Taunton River. It's the first documented sighting of the species, which is native to Asia, in Massachusetts. David Ennis and MassWildlife

 

A rare sea eagle native to Asia was spotted in Massachusetts — thousands of miles away from home — according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife on Monday.

The bird — known as a Steller’s sea eagle — was reportedly seen last week near the Taunton River. MassWildlife wrote that these birds can weigh up to 20 pounds and can have a wingspan up to eight feet.

The bird is native to China, Japan, Korea, and eastern Russia, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The division reported they believe this is the same Steller’s sea eagle spotted in Alaska and Canada. According to an article in Smithsonian Magazine from November, the same bird is believed to have traveled to Nova Scotia, Texas, Quebec, and New Brunswick.

 

The bird was first seen in North America on Alaska’s Denali Highway in August 2020.

The eagle is most identifiable for its yellow beak and white patterned feathers on its wings, as seen in the photo MassWildlife posted.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the bird is certainly lost, which is not uncommon for birds.  Vagrancy — when birds lose their path — happens when birds either make a navigation error or get lost due to a storm.

“It’s like an avian soap opera,” an avian vagrancy expert Alexander Lees told the New York Times. “We’re all rooting for it. Will it make it home? Or is it doomed to never see another species of its own in its lifetime?”

 

Stellers.PNG

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We're tempted to go see it but discouraged by the crowds.

I'm not a fan of that type of wildlife experience. It's too much like going to a zoo.

Not to say we won't. It's definitely a once in a lifetime chance. 

Maybe after Christmas if it's still around. 

 

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16 mins ago, bdowning said:

Hundreds of birders and they all got their photos from the same spot.

I probably saw 20 different posts about it on FB yesterday and they were identical. 

 

Which is not to say it isn't an amazing once in a lifetime experience. 

I just don't have the motivation and dedication to drop everything and rush down there. Especially with me not done with Christmas shopping. 

 

With the way word exploded across social media yesterday, I'm betting there'll be alot more than 200 birders there today. Assuming it doesn't take off on that 8 foot wingspan and fly off a few hundred miles. 

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This bird is big news. I just saw a story about it from Miami. Pretty soon it'll be all over the national press.

Birders from all over the country will be fighting the holiday traffic to get here. 

 

To put it in perspective, when I went to see a pink footed Goose, I met a guy who had driven overnight from Virginia to see it.

This eagle is like a thousand times more rare. 

Literally a once in a lifetime bird. Pink footed geese show up on the east coast almost every year. 

 

Them birders can be cuocoo.

 

Edit: I just heard the bird may have flown off towards the NW last night.

Haven't heard if it's been seen again.

Keep your eyes open for a giant bird.

Probably be near water. Possibly in places bald eagles are typically seen.

Edited by mikez2

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Why not travel to see something in its natural environment? Seems weird to travel a stupid way to see a lost bird!

Edited by ged

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20 mins ago, ged said:

Why not travel to see something in its natural environment? Seems weird to travel a stupid way to see a lost bird!

It's the list thing. 

Birders are passionate about their lists.

Rarity adds value to a list entry.

A stellars sea eagle in Massachusetts has way more cachet than one seen in Siberia. 

 

I have known people to get crazy about chasing a new county record of a bird they've seen frequently in other counties. 

 

I once saw a Sandhill crane in Rhode Island that caused traffic jams so bad they had the cops there.

You can find all the cranes you want just a short distance to the west.

 

I can't explain it and I can't relate. I love birds and move at the edge of birding circles but I am by no means a Birder.

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58 mins ago, z-man said:

Bird people are weird. Traveling hours to stand in a crowded park looking at a bird? No thanks. 

Agree. As cool as this sighting is, count me out of traffic and crowds. I'd rather check out snowy owls in less well-known sighting spots. 

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3 hours ago, z-man said:

Bird people are weird. Traveling hours to stand in a crowded park looking at a bird? No thanks. 

Yeah, I get that. Crazy people are all over.

 

Health officials seek to block Trump rally in Virginia | PBS NewsHour

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3 hours ago, z-man said:

Bird people are weird. Traveling hours to stand in a crowded park looking at a bird? No thanks. 

I've driven twice as far, to spend hour after hour on slippery rocks, to catch the same old fish, just to let it go.

 

I used to drive 3 times as far to stand on sand and do the same thing.

 

Something to do is how I look at it.

Edited by Plug and teaser
sp.

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26 mins ago, Plug and teaser said:

I've driven twice as far, to spend hour after hour on slippery rocks, to catch the same old fish, just to let it go.

 

I used to drive 3 times as far to stand on sand and do the same thing.

 

Something to do is how I look at it.

I was going to say the same thing.

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The rarest bird I ever tried to see was a European fieldfare. A small robin type bird.

I only went because it was along the route I was driving for work at the time. I wouldn't have gone more than a couple miles out of my way.

Unfortunately when I arrived it was a cluster F-. Looked like the road into Woodstock. Cars along both sides of the road, people walking in the street, people walking in yards. It was brutal. I bailed without seeing the bird.

 

I've been lucky with some others. I've seen barnacle, pink footed and white fronted geese all on fields close to home with only very small groups of people or none at all.

 

My son and I went to Plum Island to look for snowy owls a few years ago and found one that had no people around it. Eventually people spotted us and a small crowd gathered but by then we'd seen enough and left.

The other snowy that we saw recently and I posted here was special because it was just my son and I. 

 

I once blundered onto a long eared owl totally by accident while alone. I never reported it.

Recently long ears at Salisbury Beach drew such a crowd they had wardens there to keep people from bothering the bird.

 

The sand hill crane I mentioned above was also blind luck. I was on my way to fish a breachway and spotted it in a field as I drove by. I pulled over to check it out with my binoculars and another guy stopped to ask what I was looking at. He's the one who reported it and brought on the crowd.

 

My best rare bird was a goshawk nest with two babies. I saw a YouTube video of a hiker being attacked by the bird and figured out where it was. Then I went and found the nest.

I brought my son to see it but the only other people I told was the government agency that owned the land.

 

I do enjoy seeing a rare bird (or snake or turtle or mammal). I will travel if it's a special one. My son and I have tossed around the idea of going to western New York if the gyrfalcon returns again. I just don't enjoy it when it's a large crowd. 

 

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