I Almost Hit a Bald Eagle · 27 May 2023

I almost hit a bald eagle on the way to work the other day. I think we both scared each other.

I have never had a need for a dash cam until the other day. I was almost to work, when I had to slam on the brakes. Screech! A bald eagle had just swooped down from above and grabbed something in front of me. It was pulling out of its attack run when I slammed on the brakes. It flew right in front of my windshield. I must have scared it as much as it scared me because it dropped whatever it had caught. I only saw the corpse hit the pavement in the other lane.

I have seen lots of wildlife on my journey to work. Usually though it is just deer. They take jaunts through the neighborhood looking for rose hips. Or maybe they are just out for their morning jogs looking for the next likely place to bed down for the night. Or maybe they are out playing with the pets and squirrels.

Of course, there are pets galore running around with their owners in tow. Or just running rampant in the neighborhood playing dodge the cars or just chasing each other. The cats might be chasing the squirrels or the squirrels might be chasing the cats or each other. Or maybe they all just want to play with the crows in the middle of the street. Even if said crows are feeding on their cousins.

At any rate.

They all seem to want to play in the street. Which is not something I would need that dash camera for. But the bald eagle encounter was amazing. I do wish I had had a dash cam to capture that encounter with wildlife.

Of course, the footage would be strange. The camera would see the huge bird come swooping down into the frame. Then, the shot would suddenly point down toward the pavement in front of the car. It would have caught the sound of what I assume was the lower part of the car hitting the pavement as the car nosed downward. Then, the scene would have stabilized in time to catch the talons of the bird with whatever thing it had grabbed in its talons. It might have even seen the eagle drop its catch, but I do not think so.

From the eagle’s perspective, it was more like almost getting in an accident. First you say it, then you do it. But instead of pooping its pants, it just dropped its payload.

(I did not say it or do it.)

So maybe a dash cam would not have been the best item to have in this situation. But it would still have been fun to have one to see if it would have caught the creature in the wild.

The strange thing is that I did not see whether the eagle had caught something running across the street or if it had just seen some bit of carrion lying there and decided to grab a small snack that somebody else had left (although the second thought does not make much sense). It is probably a good thing that I did not see some squirrel or somebody’s cute pet getting lifted off the ground by a huge bird of prey only to be dropped ignominiously on the other side of the street crushed by the strong talons of the eagle and then dashed against the pavement.

Of course, I only really saw that it was a bald eagle because of its head. I did not look into its eyes or judge its wingspan. I only saw that that the eagle had swooped down in front of me and then swooped away again in front of my car. I had hit the brakes. Then, I watched the bird as much as I could, but it all happened so quickly.

Swoop. Screech! Swoop. Splat. Breathe.

It was an amazing thing. Something that a dash cam would probably not have caught much of had it been there. But it still made me think a dash cam would be cool for moments like these. Moments where you might not believe the incredible story had it not happened to you. Moments when you almost hit a bald eagle while driving to work.

© 2023 Michael T. Miyoshi

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