Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, a time to honor those who have given their lives to serve and protect our great country.
And there’s no greater symbol for our great country than a Bald Eagle, so the timing of this majestic video couldn’t be any better.
A fisherman by the name of Jake Stem was spending an afternoon out on the water ripping lips, and it turns out that he wasn’t the only one looking to fish that day. Luckily the outdoorsman had his camera handy and quickly shot one of the most impressive bald eagle videos you’ll ever see.
At first glance in the clip, it looks like the big bird could be just taking a dip in the water or even be hurt. However, the commentary that Stem delivers on the situation reveals that the eagle had swooped down on a fish a good minute or so before he started recorded and had been swimming the water ever since.
Stem is a like a kid in a candy store as he describes what he saw as the eagle uses its massive wingspan to paddle its way shore:
“Guys check this out, the bald eagle, I saw him go down and slam onto a fish way out in the lake and now he’s been swimming. I’ve seen this before on video, but never in person. I’m pretty sure he got a fish, a lake trout or something.
Way bigger than what he can take out of the water. I don’t think it’s hurt because I watched him go down and heard him splash on something, so let’s see if he pulls up a giant fish or not.
I’m all the way zoomed in, I don’t want to get too close to it and bother him. Let’s see this giant fish he pulls out, I think I can see it behind him.”
Last time I saw something so American with that large of a wingspan gracefully swimming through the water like that, Michael Phelps won four gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012.
And you might as well give this bald eagle a gold medal for this makeshift triathlon. The thing went on through the air, land, and water to secure what appears to be a gargantuan lake trout. I never really knew that eagles could paddle through the water like this, just another reason why the footage (along with the eagle) is so impressive.
The whole thing almost brings a tear to your eye, seeing the circle of life play out in such bada** fashion. The bird utilized its literal “eagle eyed” vision to track down the big fish swimming beneath the surface, and though it couldn’t fly off with it like it originally intended to, it adapted and overcame the issue like a true American would.
The Instagram video is captioned:
“One of the CRAZIEST things I’ve seen on the water!! I heard this BIG splash into the water and saw these eagle a ways away in the water.
After a few minutes I saw it getting close to shore so figured it was dragging a big fish. So cool to see!!”
Cue up Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to Be an American” after that video.
Actually, you know what, I’ll do it for you:
Bald Eagle Steals Florida Fisherman’s Shark Right Off The Line
That bald eagle was gonna get hers one way or another…
According to FOX 13 Tampa Bay, a Dunedin, Florida man named Chad Rissman was fishing with his uncle Darrin Vick, when they noticed a tug on the line.
“We are just sitting there talking. The line got tight and slack.”
The two then realized that they were reeling in a shark, their first bite after a long day of fishing:
“As the leader is coming up, I said I’d get a hold of the shark.”
As they reeled the shark in, out of nowhere, a bald eagle swooped in, and quickly jumped on the shark.
As the family stood there in awe, they were sure to capture several pictures and videos of the incredibly rare occurrence. Needless to say, the bald eagle was gonna get what was hers, and there was no stopping her, but they didn’t care though.
“The way everything lined up, the sunset; I couldn’t have asked for a better time.”
Darrin then agreed:
“It’s just like brushing the greatness of the country all into one picture and one experience.”
Kim Begay of the Clearwater Audubon Society and Audubon Center for Birds of Prey weighed in on the rare occurrence Darrin and Chad experienced:
“I think they did a really great job. It could have been a lot worse.”
She also gave some advice for what to do if you ever accidentally hook a bird:
“If you hook a bird by accident, or the bird has line wrapped around them, don’t cut the line leaving the bird with long amounts of line trailing. You have to reel, remove, and release.
The worst thing that could happen is for the eagle fly away with a hook inside of her and trailing the line with 15 to 20 feet, because when she perches on things, she could end up hanging herself.”
Needless to say, Chad and Darrin got to experience an unforgettable catch of a lifetime.
Bald Eagle Swoops Down On Whitetail Fawn Swimming In Lake
Nature is ruthless and equally as mesmerizing.
Exhibit 1: this bald eagle coming in hot and drowning a whitetail fawn
According to MeatEater, the video was captured at Lake Noquebay in Marinette County, Wisconsin.
A professor of conservation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told MeatEater contributor Pat Durkin that this eagle most likely has attacked fawns before
“Birds of prey learn quickly. In falconry, falconers often encourage their birds to go after prey that’s a little bit bigger and more difficult to capture in the wild.
Once they learn how to do it, they’ll keep doing it.”
We can see a young whitetail fawn swimming in the shallow shoreline waters of the lake when a bald eagle drops in and lands right on its back. With its sharp talons piercing the back of the helpless fawn, the eagle pushes it deeper into the water, drowning its next meal.
After the eagle drowned the fawn and dragged it to shore, it came back to chow down over the next few days… until there was nothing left.
Just a little bit of hair left on that fawn.
‘Merica… gotta eat.
Bald eagles are majestic creatures with talons that will rip you to shreds.
That wingspan can also reach 7.5 feet…
Bald Eagle Steals A Fish Straight From The Hook
Anybody that likes to fish has experienced “the one that got away.”
A fish that hits the lure hard and fights tough but ultimately never winds up in the net, hauled ashore, or pulled into the boat. Sometimes the line breaks, sometimes the hook slides out of its mouth, and sometimes a bald eagle swoops down, grabs the fish with its talons, and flies off into the wind to eat your fish.
Getting robbed by a bald eagle is exactly what happened to a fly fisherman near Sitka, Alaska, earlier this summer. The angler was reeling in an Arctic char on a picturesque wilderness stream when a bald eagle swooped down from the trees, snatched the char, and took off for the sky.
The guy holding the rod could do nothing but stand there in awe as the line unspooled rapidly off of the reel. The eagle eventually ripped the fish right off the hook, and the fisherman found some solace in the fact that the eagle ripped the fish clean off the hook, so at least it didn’t steal his fly too.
His disbelief at what he was witnessing is exhibited perfectly exhibited by his colorful language. I imagine losing the fish is worth capturing incredible footage like this on camera.
Bald eagles are more prevalent in Alaska than anywhere else in the world. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the state is home to an estimated 30,000 of the birds.
While the bald eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782, the species has been a spiritual symbol for Alaska Natives for far longer than that.
Eagles are primarily fish eaters, and Alaska’s widespread waterways and world-class fisheries offer excellent habitat and provide abundant food sources for the birds, which is why the state is home to such robust eagle populations.