【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape(22)Steller’s sea eagle and white-tailed eagle in aerial battle for fish over the drift ice

The aerial battle between a white-tailed eagle (right) and Steller’s sea eagle

A fight for fish involving two birds of prey began over the drift ice that covers the coast in the town of Rausu in eastern Hokkaido.

 A Steller’s sea eagle with a wingspan of over 2 meters flies over a fishing boat with the aim of grabbing the leftovers that spill. A white-tailed eagle who spots this from an ice floe 100 meters away follows behind. When the white-tailed eagle catches up with the Steller’s sea eagle, it attacks with its sharp claws in a bid to steal the fish.

 The Steller’s sea eagle tries to escape but finally releases the fish as a result of the relentless attacks from the white-tailed eagle, which then begins to eat the fish it has seized on an ice floe. The aerial battle between the two birds ended in a dozen or so seconds – with the white-tailed eagle declared the winner. Even the Steller’s sea eagle, which shows of its size as it rests on an ice floe, was no match for the flying skills of the White-tailed sea eagle.

The battles over the fish between the Steller’s sea eagle and the white-tailed eagle will continue until the drift ice disappears from the Shiretoko peninsula.


Rausu Town