Don Dunbar is a Canadian fisherman. One day, he was out fishing and having a jolly good time in the waters of Nanoose Bay — located in British Columbia, Canada — when he came across a bald eagle fledgling floating around in the water. Bald eagles don’t generally enjoy swimming, so the fisherman knew something bad was about to go down, if he didn’t take action. Fortunately, bosses always take action and Don Dunbar just happens to be a boss!
It turned out, the young bald eagle was drowning and not just going for a casual swim. Luckily, this boss fisherman showed compassion for the struggling bird. Dunbar pulled the eagle out of the water (using a net) onto the fisherman’s boat and took the young guy to dry land, where the distressed animal was given into the care of the capable people at Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. They determined that the eagle was in bad shape. He was severely malnourished and in desperate need of medical attention from a competent vet. Once his rehabilitation is complete, the bald eagle will be returned to the wild very close to where he was found around Nanoose Bay, so he can return to his natural habitat.
In the 12 minute video below, you can watch the rescue as it unfolds. In case you ever encounter a bald eagle fledgling floating around in open waters, you’ll know what to do thanks to fisherman Don Dunbar’s Eagle Rescue 101 tutorial. My favorite part of the vid is at approximately the 10:30 mark, where it goes into slow motion as the bald eagle clumsily flops around the boat while his wings are still drying! For such a goofy “little” guy, he sure is big up close!