White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

During winter the white-tailed eagles are found together with the visiting Steller’s sea eagles on the northern coast of Hokkaido. Here they feast on leftovers from the fishery and handouts from the many tourists coming here just for these magnificent eagle species.

The white-tailed eagle is a very large eagle, and when seen together with the Steller’s sea eagle they look similar in size. Weighing up to 6,9 kg (15,2 lb) and a wingspan of up to 2,45 m (8 ft) they are slightly lighter and smaller than the Steller’s sea eagle, but not so much that they can be bullied by them.

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. This morning the best opportunity was a boat full of tourists and a crew loaded with frozen fish they tossed out, one by one.

White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

It sounds like this:

Last updated on 24 February 2024