Derril McKenzie leans over for a photo with the eagle that landed on the boat he was fishing from on Aug. 31. (Derril McKenzie/Facebook)

B.C. fishermen get up close and personal with eagle

The immature bald eagle shared the boat with two men for about 10 minutes

A pair of fishermen on a small lake in the Shuswap region came face-to-face with a mighty bird of prey when it landed on their boat.

Kelowna resident Derril McKenzie and his brother-in-law Dean Wirachowsky had fished Gardom Lake, located southeast of Salmon Arm, before, but their fishing trip on Friday, Aug. 31 will stand out forever.

A few hours after launching, an immature bald eagle swooped in and perched on the boat.

“That was one of the most amazing days we’ve had. We’re still talking about it,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said he heard the flutter of feathers and thought a crow or raven had swooped low over the boat when the eagle unfurled its massive wings and came to rest on the bow. The pair hadn’t caught any fish yet so McKenzie said he is unsure what drew the eagle to them.

Related: B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

The pair were so excited by the arrival of the eagle that McKenzie said he lost all track of time but estimates the bird perched on the boat for approximately 10 minutes.

McKenzie said the winged predator was eyeing his toes protruding from sandals so he put shoes on as a precaution.

“All of a sudden all those Natural Geographic shows with footage of them them tearing apart rabbits came to mind,” he said.

Eventually McKenzie sped up the boat, hoping the bird would take flight. It did, but only enough to come to rest on his shoulders. He said the eagle perched gently, tearing holes in his T-shirt with its large talons but not digging into his flesh. The bird drew a small amount of blood when it pecked McKenzie on the arm.

Wirachowsky eventually shooed the bird away with one of the boat’s oars, causing it to fly a short distance before landing in the water. McKenzie said it swam the few metres between the boat and the shore where it perched on a low-hanging limb, allowing its feathers to dry before soaring up into the trees.

McKenzie described the experience as absolutely stunning and said he would certainly return to Gardom Lake, this time keeping his eyes skyward in case the eagle returns.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The eagle which landed on the boat with Derril McKenzie and Dean Wirachowsky unfurls its wings. (Derril McKenzie/Facebook)

Just Posted

Dog’s death on busy road raises fears

A hit and run by a large truck has a community concerned.

Aldergrove dresses up for Christmas

Aldergrove Business Association sponsors Decorate Your Storefront Competition

Touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield

A local veteran is hoping the writers of a note know how much he was touched by their kind words.

‘Weird Al’ brings Strings Attached tour to Abbotsford next summer

Legendary musical satirist performs with full symphony orchestra

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

Valley Symphony celebrates ’Movie Magic III’

Fraser Valley Symphony celebrates 35th anniversary season of concerts

Star Calendar

Aldergrove Star calendar of upcoming events and activities

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Santa’s coming to Aldergrove craft fair

St. Joachim & Ann’s Christmas Craft Fair on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17

Remembrance Day 2018 – Aldergrove, B.C.

Jim Sclater of Aldergrove was inspired to pen the 2018 Remembrance Day verses

Most Read