Steller’s Sea Eagle Spotted in Massachusetts

Every year, birdwatchers all over spent time between December 14 to January 5 to take part in the Christmas Bird Count. The data they contribute helps to track the fates of thousands of bird species. What would it take for Nick Lund, blogger at The Birdist and advocacy and outreach manager for Maine Audubon, to abandon the Christmas Bird Count? A very rare bird sighting.

The Steller’s sea eagle is the largest eagle on earth. Its wingspan can be as much as eight feet! But the Steeler’s sea eagle is native to northeastern Asia, mainly Siberia, Japan, Korea, and occasionally coastal Alaska. They never wander into the continental US. But one eagle appears to have gone rogue. It was spotted in inland Alaska, then in Texas, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and then in Massachusetts. Lund, in Maine, heard about it on Monday, immediately ditched the Christmas Bird Count, picked up a few birder buddies, and drove another two hours to Massachusetts to see the eagle.

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Bird enthusiasts were texting and alerting each other about the bird’s location, and Lund caught up with it at Dighton Rock State Park. By noon, there were 200 or so birders set up with cameras to see the single specimen of the Steller’s sea eagle, who was just chilling with some smaller bald eagles. For a birdwatcher this is like finding the Holy Grail. The story is delightful because the birders were so excited, and their enthusiasm for something we know nothing about is contagious. Read about the sighting and the banzai rush to see this bird at The Birdist. -via Metafilter

Source: neatorama

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