Bald eagle surprises fishermen by flying in for a visit - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Cloudy
6.0°C

Bald eagle surprises fishermen by flying in for a visit

Fisherman Derril McKenzie gets up close and personal with an eagle on a recent fishing trip.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Derril McKenzie
September 07, 2018 - 12:02 PM

SALMON ARM - When Derril McKenzie first saw something from the corner of his eye he thought it was a crow. As it got closer, he changed his mind and thought it was a raven. Moments later when he saw a five-foot wingspan, he realized it was neither.

"We think it was a young bald eagle," McKenzie said, "it came in and landed on the bow."

The Kelowna resident was out fishing with his brother-in-law Dean Wirchowsky at Gardom Lake when the majestic bird landed on their boat, Aug. 31. McKenzie said he'd fished at the lake located south-east of Salmon Arm several times and seen eagles but never had such a close encounter with one.

"Flight to me is beauty... but to see something that big, to see the talons and the beak on it, to have it that close to you, it's stunning," McKenzie said.

He said although it felt like half-an-hour, the eagle probably stayed on the boat for five to 10 minutes. He guesses it was probably looking for fish, but as the pair were having a bad day fishing, the boat was empty.

After snapping a few photos and staring in wonder, the two fishermen decided to turn the engine expecting the eagle would fly off. Instead, it only moved a little and perched on McKenzie's head and shoulder.

"It put a couple of holes in my shirt from its talons," McKenzie said, but other than a gentle nibble on the wrist the eagle showed no aggression to either man.

"If it wanted to it could easily have done damage, but that just didn't seem to be its intent at all," he said, "it was just such an amazing life experience."

McKenzie said he didn't name the eagle, but added, "we're calling ourselves very lucky."

The eagle, which they suspect was a young bald eagle, joined them on a fishing trip.
The eagle, which they suspect was a young bald eagle, joined them on a fishing trip.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Derril McKenzie

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Derril McKenzie

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Derril McKenzie

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Derril McKenzie

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Derril McKenzie

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2018
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile