TAUNTON (CBS) — Keep an eye on the sky – a rare eagle has been spotted in Massachusetts.
MassWildlife says the Steller’s sea eagle was recently seen along the Taunton River, thousands of miles home its home in Asia.
Experts believe this same bird has been observed in Alaska and Canada, and featured in Smithsonian Magazine for its travels.
Andrew Farnsworth, a senior research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, told CBS News on Tuesday that the “spectacular” bird is very likely the same one and it’s the first known sighting of the raptor in Massachusetts. While it likely isn’t searching for its kind, Farnsworth believes the bird is taking cues from bald eagles who eat large fish, just as Steller’s sea eagles do.
“Out of range birds like this are usually following their own programming so to speak,” he said. “It’s clearly associating with bald eagles, which are closely related, probably because of their similarities in behavior and ecology and diet among other things.”
The 20-pound eagle is one of the largest raptors in the world, with a wingspan of up to 8 feet.