In observance of the Fourth of July and the birthday of our
nation’s independence, we bring our readers some unusual stories
about our national symbol, the bald eagle.
Some Offbeat Outdoors blog readers may have seen the unusual
story out of Montana last week about an electrical outage that
power company officials have attributed to a dead deer they
discovered dangling across the power lines.
Witnesses in East Missoula told authorities they watched as a bald
eagle attempted to fly away with a partially eaten newborn deer,
but apparently lost its grip while airborne and dropped the animal
across the electric line, triggering a partial power outage in the
A NorthWestern Energy crew responding to the incident removed the
carcass and restored power in about 30 minutes.
A power company lineman said he’d never seen anything like it,
noting that the fawn’s carcass hit one line, then swung into
another, sparking the outage.
The Eagle Has (Crash) Landed
A bald eagle carrying a large salmon in its talons crashed
through the bay window of a house on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula,
leaving its catch–and a scattering of feathers–on the living room
floor of a surprised homeowner.
Jean Stack of Ketchikan was lying awake in bed early one morning
when she heard her large picture break with a thundering crash.
When she finally made her way into the living room, she found it
covered with glass, feathers–and one big fish.
“There was this huge fish carcass right where my dog usually
slept,” she told the Anchorage Daily News. “It didn’t have a head.
It was at least two feet long–just the back bone and the
Stack’s neighbor, Kurt Haskin, witnessed the entire event from his
deck, where he stood drinking coffee shortly before 6:00 a.m. He
immediately phoned Stack when he saw the raptor smash into her home
to alert her.
“It just grenaded that window,” Haskin said later. “The window
didn’t even slow it down.”
Seconds after the impact, Haskin reported watching the bewildered,
but unscathed, eagle take flight from the window, this time without
his cargo–and minus a few feathers.
One That Got Away
In the late summer months, it’s not unusual when motoring along
the banks of Lake Erie in northern Ohio to have some pretty
substantial flying objects go splat! on your windshield: like
junebugs, dragonflies and the occasional hard-hitting
An 8-pound fish, though? Well, that’s somewhat unusual.
Leighann Niles and her 5-year-old daughter were traveling on the
main road through scenic East Harbor State Park when they were
treated to the sight of a bald eagle flying overhead, a freshly
caught fish grasped in its talons.
“I look in the air and see the most beautiful eagle I’d ever seen
in my life,” Niles said.
It was about that time that the eagle evidently developed some
difficulty with its landing gear, so to speak.
“The next thing I knew, the fish wiggled–it dropped like a brick
and completely shattered my windshield,” reported Ms. Niles.
The combined impact of a 40-foot fish freefall and a 2004 Toyota
Matrix traveling at 40 miles per hour resulted in one totally
Neither Niles nor her daughter was injured, but they both had a
whopper of a fish story to tell.