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The Louisville Zoo is thrilled to announce the first Steller’s sea-eagle hatchlings in the Zoo’s 48-year history. The Zoo’s collection has included Steller’s sea-eagles for nearly 20 years, although the new sea-eagle exhibit opened in 2013 and features a 50-foot-tall aviary where you can see red-breasted geese, azure-winged magpie and mandarin ducks. The eaglets can be seen daily on a nest cam at the exhibit in Glacier Run.
“These two hatchings are significant to the Species Survival Plan as a whole bringing the total of Steller’s sea-eagle managed population to 19,” said Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak. “The Louisville Zoo is only the third accredited Zoo to successfully breed Steller’s sea-eagles. With only 5000 of these stunning eagles in the remnant wild and a declining population that is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species as Vulnerable to extinction, these hatchlings will help raise awareness of this magnificent species. ”
The first eaglet hatched on April 4 and the second on April 7 to adult pair 21-year-old Pyotr and 20-year-old Anna.
Bird Curator Gary Michael said guests can expect to see Pyotr aiding Anna and the hatchlings by assisting with feeding and occasionally brooding the eaglets. Guests might also catch a glimpse of the eaglets battling for dominance at mealtime even though food is abundant and the eaglets are fed once an hour.
“Our community can celebrate with us in watching a rare and memorable event. The species is seldom bred in a managed system and a reliable strategy to do so is needed to assure the declining species is conserved,” added Michael. “At the current rate of deforestation in Russia’s tall-growth forests, the sea-eagle’s status is likely to be uplisted to Endangered in the years to come.”
ABOUT STELLER’S SEA EAGLES
Steller’s sea-eagle wingspan can be 7.5 to 8 feet. They breed in eastern Russia, around the Sea of Okhotsk and on the Kamchatka Peninsula. A small number of birds remain in Kamchatka over the winter but the majority fly south to the Japanese Islands of Kuril and Hokkaido. This species is occasionally seen in China and in North and South Korea. Though usually solitary in the southern part of its range, it is more likely to congregate in numbers on salmon rivers. The sea-eagle is listed as Vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.
The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
LOUISVILLE ZOO FACEBOOK UPDATE: April 21, 2017
We are sad to report that one of our new eaglets passed away overnight. We recently celebrated their birth – the first Steller’s sea-eagles to be born at the Louisville Zoo. Nature can be harsh sometimes and this is the first nesting in a long time for this pair of adult Steller’s sea-eagles. The older eaglet seems to be doing well. The three can still be seen daily nesting on the nest cam in Glacier Run.