Bald Eagle Drops Deer, Causes Power Outage
n and dropping it on a powerline.When wildlife strikes: An eagle is suspected of loosing its grip on a faw
You know you live in the country when your power grid is unreliable. No, it’s not unreliable because the technology is bad or outdated or the guy putting up and maintaining the power lines is sub-par. The real reason the grid is unreliable in rural America is because of mother nature.
In heavily wooded areas, power transmission lines are commonly damaged by falling trees and branches leading to power outages. Many rural residents, accustomed to such outages, install back up generators at their homes. These are especially handy — and potentially life-saving — when the power goes out in the dead of winter.
But, in some parts of rural America, the power can be disrupted by wild life — say, for instance, when a bald eagle drops a deer on the power lines.
That’s what happened in East Missoula, Montana on June 17. According to local television station KPAX, local resident Lee Bridges was outside taking pictures of a bald eagle in a tree near her house when she realized something was unusual about the situation.
While eagles are not unknown in the area, Bridges knew that it was unusual for one to perch in her tree. Then, when she went back inside, she realized that the power was out. A local NorthWestern Energy crew was already at work in her neighborhood and so she asked about the problem. She recounted how she received the answer: “So he rolls down the window and points up in the air right over my head at this power line and goes, ‘You see that?’ And I look up and he goes, ‘You’ve got a deer with wings.’”
Hanging from the wire was the body of a dead fawn.
Once considered endangered, bald eagles have made a strong comeback in the lower 48 states, and are now seen regularly across most of their range. A large bird, bald eagles can reach a body length of up to 40 inches and have wingspans as much as 96 inches. While they prefer to eat fish they are opportunistic carnivores and will take prey ranging from rabbits, raccoons, and beavers up to deer fawns.
In most cases, however, they don’t drop their prey on power lines.