Steller's Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus)

During the winter months the Steller’s sea-eagle follow their food source cod and pollock to the northern coast of Hokkaido. Where there’s fish also humans follow, and thus the fishery and wild stock of fish is supporting a large number of this species in winter, and in particular the months of February and March – the peak of the cod season here.

It’s one of the largest species of eagle in the world weighing up to 9 kg (11 to 20 lb) and with a wingspan of up to 2,5 m (8 ft 2 in). As with so many species of raptors also this one is a threatened species.

What’s great about Rausu and other fishing ports of north Hokkaido is that you can get very close to the eagles as they trust the humans here, just like the seagulls. During daytime they sit all around the port, surveying the opportunities.

It sounds like this:

Last updated on 24 February 2024