A winter paradise for sea eagles

When the coastal areas of the southern Baltic Sea freeze over, attentive observers are sometimes treated to a special scene. Especially in severe winters, sea eagles often make their way to Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. While numerous waterfowl sometimes fall victim to the cold and ice when spending their winter break here, the ruler of the skies finds ideal conditions for catching prey. Ornithologists and bird watchers can then often see 40 to 60 of these impressive birds of prey in the waters off the islands of Hiddensee and Rügen.

Many of these eagle wear colored rings on their ankles, indicating their origin. Most come from Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland. While the young birds appear to be a solid brown color, adult birds are recognizable by their white tails and bright yellow beaks.

The Baltic Sea exhibit at the OZEANEUM shows a winter landscape in the shallow coastal waters and tells an exciting story: While a (ringed) eagle perched atop a recently captured goose with its powerful wings spread defensively to ward off its hungry fellows, a second eagle comes swooping in – and it has it in for the goose. Since the hierarchy between the two is not clear, they may have to fight for the spoils. Its look reveals that things will soon turn turbulent. The much smaller crows on the sidelines are hoping for an extra bite; when the two eagles are quarreling, the others watching rejoice.


  • Title: Sea eagle in the wintry landscape
  • Location: Ozeaneum Stralsund, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum
  • Rights: photo: Johannes-Maria Schlorke

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