Eagle Snatches Hiker's Phone
It happened in a 'birder's paradise' in Alaska
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2016 2:32 PM CDT
In this Feb. 1, 2016, photo, an eagle takes flight at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.   (Scott Mason/The Winchester Star via AP, File)

(Newser) – Unalaska is described as a "birder's paradise" on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's website. But a Coast Guard officer had a decidedly different experience in this town nestled in the Aleutian Islands when a leisurely hike turned into a blitz against him by a bald eagle, the Bristol Bay Times reports. Lt. Andres Ayure had come to the area from San Francisco just a few days earlier, and he decided to explore the local terrain on his day off by trekking up the perhaps appropriately named Ballyhoo Mountain. The hike up was uneventful, but as Ayure descended, a bird of prey emerged and took swipes at him three times.

On the fourth swoop, the big bird tore a hole in Ayure's hoodie (coincidentally, an American Eagle-branded sweatshirt) and launched a half-dozen or so more offensives against the lieutenant before technology saved the day: Ayure's cellphone fell out of his pocket. The eagle apparently got distracted by its shiny new toy, nabbing the phone while Ayure dashed down the slope. "It was crazy," says Ayure, whose phone appears to be gone for good. The Times notes that Unalaska's Dutch Harbor, as the country's busiest fishing port, is teeming with bald eagles known to menace residents by hovering near garbage bins, streetlights, and even City Hall. (A slightly different interaction between man and bald eagle in Minnesota.)