An unlikely visitor has caused a quite a stir in the Annapolis Valley and beyond. While the forests, marshes, and coastlines near Acadia are no stranger to migratory birds, no one could have expected to see a magnificent Steller's sea eagle in the Annapolis Valley, over 6,000 kilometers from its native habitats in Russia, Korea, Japan and China. And Professor Phil Taylor was the first to spot it.
“I couldn’t believe it. Something like this is just one in a million,” Dr. Taylor told The New York Times. As recounted in The Globe & Mail, he made the remarkable sighting on his way back from lunch with a colleague. “And there was this bird. Just sitting there on the mud..." Dr. Taylor immediately recognized the bird from a distinctive mark on its wings. The same eagle had made a similarly perplexing stop across the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick in the summertime.
Taylor notified others of the sighting, drawing a crowd of dozens of onlookers, including his Biology Department colleague Jake Walker. "As soon as I heard about it, the adrenaline was pumping," Walker said in the Times.
The strange journey of this adventurous eagle, whose prior travels in North America included Texas and Quebec, quickly captured the imagination of many. Although the bird has not been spotted in weeks and its destination is unknown, biologists and birdwatchers across the continent will be ready to expect the unexpected.