WATCH: Eagle caught in power line rescued by BC Hydro technician

WATCH:  A bald eagle owes its life to a BC Hydro worker who went above and beyond the call of duty, and risked his own health and safety. Linda Aylesworth reports.

VANCOUVER – A bald eagle is now recovering at the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (O.W.L.) in Delta after it became caught in a power line in Ladner on Monday.

It was just a regular start to the week for BC Hydro technician Bruce Byrnell, when his Richmond crew received a call that an eagle was hanging on a power line, just east of Boundary Bay Airport.

The line, which hangs over the aptly named Eagle View Farm, was still energized when the crew arrived, so their first task was to de-energize and ground the power line.

The crew was joined by members from O.W.L and Brynell was tasked with getting the young male eagle in the net. He was told “whatever you do, just grab his leg – don’t reach for the talons or he’ll latch on and not let go. Avoid the beak and talons at all cost.”

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WATCH: Full video of eagle rescue

It was not an easy task to get the tired bird off the line and into the net and Brynell had to wait until the eagle reacted calmly to his presence. “He seemed to just calm down when he realized I wasn’t a danger, I wasn’t a threat,” says Brynell in a release. “I just went slowly, tried to call him, tell him it’s okay, it’s okay.”

O.W.L. has since been caring for the eagle and his rescuer has been checking in regularly for updates. While the bird was initially having some difficulty standing on his own, he is now on his way to recovery.
When Byrnell last spoke to O.W.L, the eagle, given the nickname Flash by the BC Hydro crew, had moved to an outside cage and was hanging out with a mature female.“This is supposed to help him learn to eat on his own, as he wasn’t doing that all the time,” says Byrnell. “He will have to be able to feed himself before he can be released back into the wild.”Photos by Linda Aylesworth:
Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is a non-profit organization whose volunteers are dedicated to public education and the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned birds, particularly eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls.