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Steller’s Sea Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus pelagicus

Conservation Status:

Vulnerable IUCN Red List


Steller’s sea eagles live along narrow strips of coast in Siberian Russia and the northern parts of Korea where they (as their name implies) rely on ocean fish for sustenance. The hunt begins from a perch 15 to 150 feet above the water. Making use of its eight-foot wingspan, the eagle circles about 20 feet above the water, scanning for fish. After homing in on a fish, it dives and captures the prey just below the water’s surface. Steller’s sea eagles have forward-facing eyes that provide excellent binocular vision and can even compensate for the distortion caused by the refraction of light in water. With their large strong feet and sharp talons, they carry their catch back to land. Their hooked, sharp, beaks (the largest of any eagle) are perfectly suited for tearing flesh.

Steller’s sea eagles live in aeries, enormous nests made of sticks built at the tops of large trees or cliff ledges 100 feet up. The nests measure six to 15 feet across and up to 12 feet deep. Typically, between one and three eggs are laid. The young hatch within 38 to 45 days and leave the nest at about 70 days. Steller’s sea eagles use their aeries year after year. Generally solitary, Steller’s sea eagles will congregate during summer for the annual salmon run, which is an abundant food source. In winter, they migrate south in search of unfrozen bodies of water.


Steller’s sea eagles live along narrow strips of coast in Siberian Russia and in the northern part of Korea. They may also winter off the coast of Alaska, in Japan, and in China.


Steller’s sea eagles eat large fish, primarily Pacific salmon, as well as birds and mammals, including young hares, young seals, sable, and arctic foxes. They will also consume crabs, mollusks, and carrion.

Physical Characteristics

Adult Steller’s sea eagles measure 35 to 40 inches in length. Female eagles weigh 20 pounds, while males weigh 13 pounds. Their lifespan is estimated at about 20 years.


You’ll find this bird in the Asia section. See Zoo Map.

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