Swimming Eagles

[Prev: Home Exchange Vacations | Next: Razor Sharp Knives ] Created 6/11/95 by darrell.web4 (at) telus.net (Darrell Greenwood)

Swimming Eagles

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon at the end of this May and I saw the bald eagle lift off from Gossip Island on a foray over the water. Something made me think this trip looked business-like so I got a pair of binoculars and tracked him. Sure enough, about a half-mile towards Active Pass, he swooped towards the water. There was a flurry of wings, some white water, and the eagle was in the water.

"Oh-oh," I said to myself, "Scratch one eagle." I had a spotting scope handy so I took it to the sundeck and anxiously focused on the eagle. I lost sight of him a couple of times, whether he went under or the inexpert handling of the scope was the problem I'm not sure.

I finally got the eagle in focus at a higher power and realized, somewhat to my surprise, that he looked like an elderly matron out for a paddle, with his head high out of the water, paddling a breast stroke with his wings. As time went by the awareness dawned he was making very good progress against the current with those powerful wings. It would have taken a good swimmer to keep up with him... if they could.

About ten minutes later he had swum the half-mile in a very bored manner, past a couple of curious seals, and was alongside the most southern Gossip Island sandstone spit. Then a couple of flaps of his powerful wings and he was on dry land; his talons still firmly in a 10 pound fish. So now I can tell my grandchildren... eagles can swim, too.

(Jan 2008... and here is a great photo of a bald eagle swimming.

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