VIDEO: Bald Eagle gets boost from boarders off Lincoln Park

A happier story from the shore: Jess sent the videos and report:

A friend and I were paddleboarding off Lincoln Park near the Colman Pool point when we saw repeated splashing out in the middle of the cove near the Driftwood Sculptures. After watching a moment we noticed there was a waterlogged bald eagle stuck in the water getting divebombed by seagulls. We put the paddles in high gear and rushed over to see how we could help. When we arrived the seagulls gave the eagle a break, and we were able to direct it toward shore as it had been struggling around in circles far from shore. I was able to gently get my oar underneath it and lift enough for it to climb aboard one our paddleboards as we floated closer to shore.

Since it was obviously very scared still, it hopped off as we got closer to show and swam the rest of the way to shore. We tried to have everyone give it space as it dried off enough to fly into the woods to dry completely before taking back to its perch high over the Colman Pool point.

20 Replies to "VIDEO: Bald Eagle gets boost from boarders off Lincoln Park"

  • HW July 10, 2024 (7:57 pm)

    This is so amazing!!! Thank you for stepping in and helping. 

  • Jolene July 10, 2024 (8:01 pm)

    Absolutely beautiful! Thank you!

  • M July 10, 2024 (8:06 pm)

    Thank you for doing that. That made my day. Thanks for posting the videos. 

  • KD Walsh July 10, 2024 (8:17 pm)

    Thank you.  

  • Well Done July 10, 2024 (8:30 pm)

    I wonder if the same Eagle that flew over my house on Graham St about 4ish, with a few gulls and a crow or two in pursuit. I thought the gulls might be protecting a nest at the time (tho I couldn’t imagine where), as it was an unusual sighting. Say, do you happen to do beached car reclamations too, by any chance? Nice job. 

  • Derp July 10, 2024 (8:37 pm)

    That’s is awesome you were able to help it out. I love how he came out on the beach. Great job you two

  • Travis July 10, 2024 (8:41 pm)

    It goes to show you that there are still good people. 

  • Dennis Hinton July 10, 2024 (8:56 pm)

    Saw the whole thing with my field glasses. Amazing!

  • Ashley July 10, 2024 (9:29 pm)

    Such a beautiful story! Great work out there! This truly made my day. 

  • Karen B July 10, 2024 (9:52 pm)

    This made my day too! Thanks for helping the eagle and for sharing! It hadn’t occurred to me that an eagle in the water might be exhausted and have to struggle to get to shore. I’ve seen them snagging fish and they’ve seemed so comfortable around water. 

  • star 55 July 10, 2024 (10:41 pm)

    We watched him fly down the beach and onto a branch. He sat there for a while with the  while crows were going crazy. He left headed out towards the sound, turned around and headed up into the park.

  • 1994 July 10, 2024 (10:45 pm)

    So interesting to see the eagle swim with its wings! Looked like a breast stroke swim.  I wonder if the feet were paddling?

  • TZ July 11, 2024 (1:03 am)

    The gulls were likely engaging in anti-predator mobbing behavior. There are numerous natural reasons why this gull behavior would occur and whether or not to intervene is a tough call.Should everyone else react the same as Jess if they see the same thing happening?I recently saw a very cute baby bunny on Alki trail get snatched up by a crow while a presumably momma rabbit was trying to stop the crow. Momma rabbit was making very strange rabbit noises while chasing the crow with baby in beak (I learned that day that rabbits make very strange noises when they feel like it). It was so heart wrenching to see other rabbit family members out wandering like they were all traumatized by this situation on an otherwise normal Friday afternoon. Who knows what they had planned for the weekend but I bet this wasn’t it. As much as I wanted to intervene, I felt it wasn’t my place to do so.Should I have been more like Jess? Or should Jess have been more like me?Luckily there is enough happening on harbor and Alki aves that the weight of this trauma isn’t top of mind most days. But after seeing this post, I really want to know. What do I do the next time I see mother nature doing its thing? Intervene or merely gasp and do my best to move on?

    • AO July 12, 2024 (5:02 pm)

      Man I love this question. I love that you asked it. It’s about as Grand Canyon philosophically as any Q could be, opens up in all directions, vastly. There must be an answer. I wish I could write a book today, post tomorrow, or at least offer a website, an Instagram; it’s all I’ve thought about, for years. But no. (You might look into Peter Singer.) But, here, TZ: it’s like putting down a pet. You’ll never get it right. You selfishly held on too long, they suffered needlessly; they still kind of seemed like always and you killed them. Early. I’m not a religious person, but like to say, only God can get that right. Or Mother Nature, as you say. The only way to keep your hands clean if you’re a deist, even a Gaiaist, is never to intervene. In anything. And you intervene in everything. By existing. Eating, hiking, shopping, voting. So to disavow your Will, your being? No. Right? Makes no sense. But then comes the hard part: what to do. And I long ago recognized moral relativism as the ethical cancer it’s proving to be, though I’m pretty sure now things could never have been otherwise; and I really dislike the phrase; but in this particular yawning heart-wrenching moral dilemma, TZ, you can only do you. Not more Jess–nor they you; not more me. Maybe less. Whatever your own innermost voice tells you or comes to tell you to do or not do, you do that. Every time. Whatever you choose,  you’ll get it wrong. Rescue a fallen owl; we may ‘cull’ a million like him. Should we? (‘We’.) I would have lost my mind in defense of your baby rabbit, because I know in my heart to an empirical certainty that the momma and fam were traumatized, suffering, and the baby was in hell–and that crow was very likely a momma. Her own crying babies may have been starving at Death’s door. There are plenty of crows; crows will be fine. And rabbits? Humans will soon top ten billion. That eagle was a pitiless cold-eyed apex predator–hawks have torn up my beloved squirrels in my own back yard!–and Kersti knows this very eagle to have one way or another gotten back to raising up a little one in LP. So who do you like more? Who’s cutest? Who’s nearest you? Would you have helped a child? A puppy? Would you help a child in Gaza? or go for ice cream? Tel Aviv? Is it your place? Do you like underdogs? or victors? Spiders? bad boys? bullies? There are no bullies in Nature, only survivors. And so on. Perry: “Ain no wrong now ain no right, only pleasure and pain…” Only eating and starvation, predators and prey. But every one a sentient being–so will I personally witness and allow suffering? No. Not me. Not in a despised species; not in a drowning bee. What if I later see the same bee, same imperfect wing, again in the water, struggling hopelessly more, again, because she’d been there for good reason–weak, injured, old–and I’d intervened? F=ck. F-ck. F-ck it hurts to be alive. Life is suffering. Carla: “Do somethin, whydonchaf-ckin, do somethin?!” Do what you’re moved to do, TZ, whatever serves what you value most highly. Could be screaming, could be intervening, maybe stomping on a head; could be letting it be–words of wisdom, Mother Mary. Could be shifting sands, chimeras. Will be. What your wisest brave instinct says for whatever your reasons you have to do or not do, that’s what you do or don’t allow yourself to–that’s the imperative–and let it be. Thom: “You can try the best you can, you can try the best you can, the best you can is good enough.” (That, of course, is “Optimism”.) C’est la vie. (I can’t honestly say it’s worked perfect for me.) Peace to you, TZ.

  • PatWS July 11, 2024 (8:22 am)

    LOVE this story! Thank you so much for your kindness and for sharing it!

  • TM78 July 11, 2024 (9:20 am)

    They can swim up to 75mph (really).  They can also drown, which is ironic.  They hunt game as large as deer.   Pretty amazing animals.

  • N in Seattle July 11, 2024 (9:39 am)

    “75mph”???  That’s hydroplane speed.

    You’re either missing a decimal point or using the wrong measurement abbreviation. Or both.

  • emcat8 July 11, 2024 (10:47 am)

    What a lovely story—thank you for stepping in and helping! 

  • Kersti Muul July 11, 2024 (12:24 pm)

    Eagles frequently swim and can appear in distress to an untrained eye, when trying to pull heavy prey items up (big fish etc.)I filmed one swimming off constellation, a half mile out, for quite some time after capturing a water bird…also circling. It was fine and later took off straight out of the water.Whether or not this adult eagle needed ‘assistance’, I’m happy to see it fly back to the park, where it has one eaglet that is branching very well and will be flying very soon. 

  • Chris July 11, 2024 (7:08 pm)

    There was an eagle sitting on a lower house roof in Admiral District for quite a while this afternoon. We wondered if might be same one and if it was okay. It did eventually fly away. Saw people stopping to take pictures as we do not see one that close often.

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