Lost Steller’s sea eagle is on the move: 20lb bird with an 8ft-long wingspan that is native to Asia has been seen in Maine after it was spotted in Massachusetts last month

  • A Stellar's sea eagle was spotted around Boothbay Harbor in Maine
  • A photographer snapped an image of the bird during Friday's snowstorm
  • The bird is native to China, Japan and Russia, but experts say it was blown off course by a storm
  • This Stellar's sea eagle was first seen in Alaska last year, but it last appeared in Massachusetts 

A Steller's sea eagle that is native to Asia is making its way around North America and has recently been spotted in Maine.

The rare bird, which is more than 5,000 miles from home, was previously seen in Massachusetts on December 21, attracting hundreds of bird watchers around the Taunton River.

It was recently photographed on Friday in Boothbay Harbor by a photographer named John, who snapped a picture of the 20-pound bird covered in snow while perched in a tree and as it took to the skies for its next adventure.

This Steller's sea eagle, which has an eight-foot-long wingspan, was first reported in Alaska in 2020, then Texas in March 2021, Nova Scotia in November and Massachusetts last month.

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A Steller's sea eagle that is native to Asia is making its way around North America and has recently been spotted in Maine

A Steller's sea eagle that is native to Asia is making its way around North America and has recently been spotted in Maine

'Incredible feeling to photograph a Steller's Sea Eagle 5 minutes from my house,' John wrote with the post on his Instagram page. 'This Eagle is currently lost and the only one in North America.'

Steller's sea eagles are native to China, Japan and Russia and are easy to spot with their dark body, white forehead, shoulders, tail, and thighs and bright-yellow bill.

The birds can grow more than three feet long and is considered more powerful and aggressive than its closest relatives, the bald eagle and white-tailed sea eagle.

In December, the Stellar's sea eagle was spotted by 200 bird watchers around the Taunton River in Massachusetts.

This Steller's sea eagle was first reported in Alaska in 2020, then Texas in March 2021, Nova Scotia in November and Massachusetts last month

This Steller's sea eagle was first reported in Alaska in 2020, then Texas in March 2021, Nova Scotia in November and Massachusetts last month

It was recently photographed on Friday by a photographer named John, who snapped a picture of the 20-pound bird covered in snow while perched in a tree and as it took off for its next adventure

It was recently photographed on Friday by a photographer named John, who snapped a picture of the 20-pound bird covered in snow while perched in a tree and as it took off for its next adventure

Bird watchers have traveled from all over New England to catch a glimpse at the rare bird, Tuanton Daily Gazette reports.

Jonathan Goff, 24, drove from Millville when he heard of the sighting on social media.   

'It's one of the largest eagles in the world and I would love to see it,' Goff told Tuanton Daily Gazette.

'It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They're usually found in the Arctic, but since it's here, that's why I drove the 45 minutes.'

The rare bird, which is more than 5,000 miles from home, was previously seen in Massachusetts on December 21, attracting hundreds of bird watchers around the Taunton River (pictured)

The rare bird, which is more than 5,000 miles from home, was previously seen in Massachusetts on December 21, attracting hundreds of bird watchers around the Taunton River (pictured)

And many are sure it is the same bird spotted on Alaska's Denali highway, about 4,700 miles away from its native range, in August 2020, the New York Times reports.

The bird was then observed in New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada this past July and in Goliad County, Texas in March 2021.

Wildlife officials believe a storm blew the bird off course and the creature is now lost, as it is likely become vagrant.

Vagrancy occurs when a bird wonders off its normal route, which could be due to a navigation error or a major storm scooping it up.

However, vagrancy is a normal occurrence – records show some albatrosses spend decades off their normal course.

Birders are sure it's the same eagle because it has unique white markings on its wings

Birders are sure it's the same eagle because it has unique white markings on its wings

Experts suspect the lone traveler may migrate with native bald eagles along the coastline, make its way back to its normal ranges in northeastern Asia or stick around and brace Nova Scotia's brutal winters. It is possible that the sea eagle may die while out of range, the New York Times reports.

Alexander Lees, an avian vagrancy expert at the Manchester Metropolitan University, told the New York Times: 'It's like an avian soap opera.

'We're all rooting for it. Will it make it home? Or is it doomed to never see another species of its own in its lifetime?'

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Lost Steller's sea eagle native to Asia has been seen in Maine

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