A call came from a work crew at Second Beach who had witnessed a mid-air fight between two eagles and the resulting tumbling crash down into a blackberry forest. Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) president Merrilee Prior quickly loaded up two kennels and raced out. The crew was waiting and helpful, which was great because these were two very big birds and the blackberries were high and thick.
PROWLS’ Texada volunteer, who happened to be in Powell River, grabbed the first eagle, who was on the bottom, and got her safely into a kennel, while the second eagle tried to swim out of the blackberries, badly shredding her wings. She was eventually surrounded and closed in on.
Once again the volunteer dove in to grab her. Unfortunately, the eagle grabbed back, catching the volunteer’s hand with one talon. The volunteer stayed calm and very still, and as the eagle’s attention switched to one of the crew her hand was released. This time Merrilee’s order to hold onto those legs no matter what was taken seriously.
The eagle was carried out and pushed into the kennel, where she attacked the door with those strong and dangerous feet. The cage was quickly covered and silence followed.
The two were flown to Vancouver a few hours later thanks to quick work by Pacific Coastal Airlines staff. They were checked over at Orphaned Wildlife Society in Delta and kept close for observation for a few days in case of any internal injuries, then moved out into a flight cage together. All was well.
On their return, they arrived in separate cages. In an attempt to prevent any further fights, the older one was released at Second Beach, where both her nest and mate were. She quickly and calmly left the cage, immediately flying up into a nearby tree, already knowing she was back home.
The younger one was taken over to the Shinglemill. Loudly kicking at the door of the kennel, once out, she realized this was new territory and calmly looked around. Seemingly pleased, she quickly ascended high into the sky and began to survey all the new possibilities.
Some of the witnesses to these releases were the helpful crew and the volunteer from Texada, who fortunately had healed from getting pierced between two fingers on her first attempt to grab the eagle.
In the end, the rescues were a success.