Steller’s Sea Eagle

Stellers Sea Eagle

 

Siberia is a 5.1 million square mile region in Russia (the entire United States is only 3.8 million square miles). It has swamps, plains, forests, mountains, and tundra, and it holds the record for lowest temperature outside of Antarctica with -90° Fahrenheit (-68° Celsius).  In summary: Siberia is big and cold.

If you are a Steller’s Sea Eagle (SSE), Siberia is home. SSEs are considered to be the world’s largest, heaviest, most attractive eagle. They are also “Glacial Relics” because they live in such a remote habitat that sucks for everyone else and have survived several ice ages. Even though they have been around for a long time and are super big (i.e. easy to see), not much is known about beloplechii orlan, which is Russian for white-shouldered eagle. They are one of the rarest raptors in the world.

Each time I write “raptor” I feel like I’m writing “rapper.” And I don’t know, maybe these raptors are rappers. Then they can be the world’s rarest raptor rappers.

 

 

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Secretary Bird

SecretaryBird2_web

If you hate snakes, then I have the bird for you!

The Secretary Bird’s taxonomic name is “sagittarius sepentarius,” which translates to “the archer of snakes.” And, no, they don’t use snakes as arrows in target practice, but excellent and creative guess! The Secretary Bird is a magnificent snake hunter. They have many tools in their arsenal against snakes, one being long, heavily scaled legs (the longest legs of any predatory bird). They look like an eagle on top and a crane on the bottom.

There are two theories on the origin of the name “Secretary Bird”:

1. The feathers on the back of their head (a crest) reminded 19th century naturalists of the quill pens secretaries tucked behind their ears. Nerds.
2. The name derives from the Arabic “saqr-et-tair,” which translates to “hunter bird.”

Whatever you want to call them, they are beautiful, elegant, enormous, and super cool.