Injured eagle rescued in White Rock: ‘It was the size of a turkey!’

Bald eagle may have gotten into a fight over territory

A bald eagle was rescued after it likely got in a fight above White Rock’s Five Corners neighbourhood on Sunday. (Bernie Blessman photo)

There was a turf war high above the City of White Rock that resulted in one of the casualties seeking refuge in the Five Corners neighbourhood.

However, the eagle paramedics were quick to administer first aid to the wounded.

The sound of squawking bald eagles above the 15100-block of Beachview Avenue captured the attention of nearby resident Bernie Blessman.

One of the three eagles, which were reportedly being harassed as they flew by a murder of crows, landed in Blessman’s neighbour’s yard and hid underneath some shrubbery, the White Rock man said.

Blessman called the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL), which provides a 24/7 service for injured raptors.

A two-person crew, which Blessman described as competent, turned up and capture the bird within 30 minutes, Blessman said.

“They found it very quickly and they cornered it. And of course, they know how to handle these things.”

OWL raptor care manager Rob Hope said the female sustained a number of battle wounds, including a good sized wound to her left breast and a deep bruise near the breast bone and swollen muscles.

“She hit the ground pretty hard, which can be concerning how it goes over the next couple of days because we can’t see internally,” Hope said.

Hope said OWL applied two sutures to the wound and are running her on some antibiotics. If the bird makes a full recovery, she will be released back into the wild.

Hope said there was little doubt the injuries were caused by a fight, however, “this is minor compared to some of the things I’ve seen over the years with eagle fights.”

Eagle expert and South Surrey resident David Hancock, who has built a number of eagle nests on the Semiahmoo Peninsula and beyond, offered a theory as to why the birds were fighting.

VIDEO: Bald eagle caught in ‘amazing’ hunt for fish on B.C.’s coast

Hancock wasn’t aware of the specifics of the injured bird, however, he noted the eagle landed between two nests the Hancock Wildlife Foundation built – one of which is located on Marine Drive and the other located in South Surrey near 0 Avenue.

Hancock said there could have been a dispute between two territorial nest owners.

“Now, disputes can involve fighting, there’s no doubt, and one can grab the other and tear pieces out and so on. Or, and this is almost as frequently in and around houses and buildings, they get locked and they come down. One of them bashes itself on a pole and gets electrocuted possibly, hits something else like a building or tree or something else or whatever it is. So they can actually get injured incidental to their fighting,” Hancock said.

SEE ALSO: Despite having a broken leg, South Surrey eagle continues to care for young

Hancock said the injured bird is likely part of the Semiahmoo Peninsula resident population, not the migrating population that comes from the Arctic.

Blessman indicated that one of the most impressive things about the bird, which seemed to no longer have the ability to fly, was its size.

“It was the size of a turkey! The claws on this thing, oh my God,” Blessman said.

The bird was so big, Blessman said, that he alerted a neighbour because they owned a dog, but it wasn’t out of concern for the eagle.

“Because you know, if the dog goes after the eagle, the dog might lose. This thing was huge.”

In addition, Blessman said, the female bird had claws like needles, “I wouldn’t want to tackle it with those claws.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A bald eagle was rescued after it likely got in a fight above White Rock’s Five Corners neighbourhood on Sunday. (Bernie Blessman photo)

A bald eagle was rescued after it likely got in a fight above White Rock’s Five Corners neighbourhood on Sunday. (Bernie Blessman photo)

A bald eagle was rescued after it likely got in a fight above White Rock’s Five Corners neighbourhood on Sunday. (Bernie Blessman photo)

Just Posted

Alleged impaired driver crashes car into parked truck on Chilliwack’s Wellington Avenue

Police investigated the collision which took place shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning

Which riding do you live in — Chilliwack or Chilliwack-Kent?

Understanding one small and condensed riding vs. one large and sprawling riding

Police seek assistance locating missing Hope teen, last seen near Agassiz

RCMP say Jada Charlie-Carlson was last seen Monday in the 61000 block of Lougheed Highway

VIDEO: Take a drone tour of art from the Chilliwack Mural Festival

A local drone pilot has created a virtual tour of projects big and small in the downtown core

Former constituency assistant for Chilliwack MLA intends to plead guilty to fraud, breach of trust

John Martin fired Desmond Devnich for allegedly misappropriating thousands from constituency office

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read