A Steller’s sea eagle and three spur-winged lapwings are part of a birdy baby boom that has occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden over the past two weeks.
This little Steller’s sea eagle chick was first seen by aviculture staff at the zoo on May 3rd. Baby Steller’s sea eagles grow fast and when this one was observed on May 7th it appeared to have doubled in size.
This is species is one of the rarest raptors on earth both in the wilds of Russia, Japan, China and South Korea along with in zoos. Until last year Cincinnati was the only U.S. zoo to have bred them. Three pairs have been bred at the zoo with twelve chicks having been hatched. There are only 22 Steller’s sea eagles living in 11 North American zoos.
Numbers of these birds continue to plummet due to wind farms, pollution, habitat loss and hunting.
Although not rare the spur-winged lapwings bred at the zoo are just as important. It is the first time the zoo has bred them and their parents are important to the captive breeding program.
Photo Credits: Cincinnati Zoo