BOOTHBAY HARBOR, MAINE (CBS) — A rare sea eagle thousands of miles from home has been spotted in New England again – this time in Maine during a snowstorm.
A photographer named John, who is on social media @manbythesea, said he learned that there was a recent sighting of the Steller’s sea eagle around Boothbay Harbor. So he set out in the snow on Friday, and ended up getting an amazing shot.
“Incredible feeling to photograph a Stellar’s Sea Eagle 5 minutes from my house,” he wrote. “This Eagle is currently lost and the only one in North America.”
Last month, MassWildlife confirmed the bird was seen along the Taunton River, about as far as possible from 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 that 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.