Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society checks on eagle after encounter with loon

Bald eagle

EAGER EAGLE: Out fishing by the navigation buoy at Blubber Bay, a fisher watched a large male Pacific loon actually taking down an eagle. The loon was diving for its own meal when an eagle showed up, keen on catching the loon.

Loons are powerful, agile divers and water is their element. The loon dove, taking the eagle with it.

The man raced over in his boat and scooped both the eagle and the loon into his fishing net. He headed back to the north harbour where Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) president Merrilee Prior had been alerted and was waiting to help.

The eagle was put into a kennel but the loon was dead, having been punctured by the eagle.

Merrilee noticed the eagle had a brood patch, indicating he had a young family back on Texada Island. The brood patch is an area on the chest plucked clean of feathers so the males can help keep the eggs and chicks warm.

Having had time to dry off, he was agitated and keen to leave. Merrilee picked up photographer Michell Pennell, and the eagle was released by the ferry dock.

After making a few circuits to get his bearings, he flew straight back to Texada, getting there before the ferry did. His family would be glad to see him, even without the loon lunch he had planned to bring them.