Rare Eagle Spotted Thousands of Miles From Home

by Michael Freeman

It’s not unheard of to learn about animals wandering a bit outside their natural habitat. What is a bit strange though is when a rare eagle is spotted thousands of miles away from home.

The eagle in question is known as a Steller’s sea eagle. Though indigenous to Asia, one was recently spotted in Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast last month. What makes this story even more spectacular is the fact the same eagle has been spotted all over the United States. The Smithsonian Magazine reports Texas residents saw it at one point, as well as those in Alaska.

The very first sighting occurred on Alaska’s Denali highway, a whopping 4,700 miles away from its natural habitat in August 2020. However, Phil Taylor, an Acadia University biologist, first reported the Nova Scotia sighting mentioned earlier. “I knew exactly what it was, immediately,” Taylor told the New York Times. “I couldn’t believe it. Something like this is just one in a million.”

Taylor spotting the lost bird prompted him to alert other bird-watchers about the crazy find. His efforts worked, inspiring birders around the country to search for the elusive sea eagle. Jason Dain, a wildlife photographer, was particularly excited upon hearing the news. “Mind blown, gobsmacked … there’s all kinds of words,” Dain relayed to CBC News. “It’s a dream bird for a birder or to see, especially here in Nova Scotia.”

The question now is whether the bird will migrate back to its homeland or if it will remain here. Some experts believe it may migrate with native bald eagles and slowly make its way back. Alexander Lees, a bird vagrancy expert, told the New York Times “It’s like an avian soap opera. We’re all rooting for it. Will it make it home?”

Bald Eagle Snags a Florida Fisherman’s Shark Catch

The Steller sea eagle just so happened to end up on this side of the world, but more times than not, eagles are intentional with their actions. For instance, a bald eagle snatched a Florida fisherman’s small shark catch last month.

Fox 13 Tampa shared the story, with the opportunistic eagle taking advantage of a Florida fisherman’s catch. Chad Rissman reported reeling in a shark on the Dunedin Causeway when the eagle interfered. Though the eagle harassed him a little as he was reeling in the shark, it eventually decided to steal it all together. The news outlet posted the story and pictures to Twitter as well.

As we can see in the pictures, the eagle proudly stands over its pilfered prey as Rissman is left amused. Funnily enough, wildlife officials named this eagle Eugene and are familiar with its antics.

Apparently, Rissman isn’t the only victim of Eugene and something tells me he won’t be the last.