An Errington man is shocked by what he did Saturday, jumping in to save a wild bird being attacked by two eagles. Alex Fras heard a big commotion on his roof, and he says without time to think and the feathers flying he jumped in to help. Skye Ryan reports.
When Alex Fras jumped out his door and sprinted to whatever his surveillance video revealed was being attacked by two eagles Saturday, he says he didn’t have time to think what he might do when he got there.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” said Fras, an Errington resident.
“It was just kind of a natural reaction to chase and see what it was.”
His first thought was maybe it was the family’s pet chicken that was being attacked and was hanging off his roof.
After all, he didn’t have time to look closer. So shirtless, he sprung into action and found himself face to face with a surprising and very scared discovery.
“Oh geez,” said Fras.
“No words. Surprise.
“Are you okay bud?” Frats is heard on cell phone video as he approached the eagles’ target.
It was a terrified and injured Great Blue Heron. One that was about to be lunch, had the Errington father not stepped in.
“I think he thought who are these people who are here stopping these [eagles],” said Fras.
“He was fighting for his life too.”
Fras said the eagles kept swooping down even as he stood over the injured heron, netted it, and stowed it safely in his chicken coop, before taking it to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.
“Absolutely the eagles would have got him,” said North Island Wildlife Recovery’s Derek Downes.
“There’s no question about that to me. Eagles hunt heron,” said Downes.
Though the young heron does have puncture wounds and a broken toe, he lived through the night. Kept company by a pair of clucking baby barred owls and chicks that are being brought in, in droves to the centre right now.
The four-and-a-half foot tall heron is a giant among the tiny chicks, but very much in need of the TLC the centre is giving him until he can be released back to the wild.
“Maybe if the bird survives he gets to fish another day,” said Fras.
“And you know everyday matters,” he said.
After a chance encounter and a flash of feathers that was caught on surveillance video, the Great Blue Heron is getting another day.