Otter Pups Take It Outside!
Lemur Twins are Twice the Fun

Rare Sea Eagle Chick a First for Denver Zoo

Stellers_sea_eagle_chick01The Denver Zoo welcomed the first Steller’s Sea Eagle chick to be successfully reared at the zoo. Because only a few United States zoos exhibit or breed these raptors, the chick’s hatching is a rare event in the U.S. 

The first two photos shown here feature the chick; the third and fourth photos show an adult Steller’s Sea Eagle.

Stellers_sea_eagle_chick04Photo Credit:  Denver Zoo

The unnamed chick, whose gender is still not known, hatched on March 4. The chick is currently nesting with and being brooded by its mother.

This is the first chick for both mother, Ursula, and father, Vlad. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.

Steller’s Sea Eagles are the largest known eagles with average weights between 15 and 18 pounds. They have large, bright yellow beaks; their plumage is mostly dark brown or black, save for the white feathers on their upper wings, tails and thighs. Little is known about the species as their primary habitats in East Asia and coastal areas of northern Russia are remote. The birds were named after German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, who discovered the species during an Alaskan voyage in 1741.

With a wild population estimated between 4,600 and 5,000 individuals, Steller’s Sea Eagles are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their numbers continue to decrease due to habitat alteration and destruction, pollution, logging and over-fishing, which decreases their food source.