Sunday, October 7, 2012

Soaring Eagle Story - 1997

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Some of you may want to know how I decided on the name of my blog and why is does it focus on Soaring Eagles?

Some may think because the bald Eagle represents freedom in the US.  Others that know my younger brother may think it is because he truly loves bald eagles, and has photos, statues and other bald eagle items in his home.  Others may think I am simply a bird or animal lover.  While all of these are true, the true inspiration comes from one of my business travel experiences in 1997.

 First of all let me say that I believe who we are is a direct reflection of our experiences during our lifetime.  Those of us who are fortunate to live a full and rich life of wonderful experiences will leave this life happy and content.  When my Mom was in the hospice before she passed away, she told me many of her life’s stories that I had never heard before.  The smile and happiness on her face told me these were some of her most treasured life experiences.  Many of these stories changed her life and made her the loving mother that my siblings and I all cherished.  The stories I recount for you will be some of my life experiences that made me the person I am today.  {As I write this I have a smile on my face  from ear-to-ear!}

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia:
Clockwise from top: Downtown Vancouver as seen from the southern shore of False Creek, The University Endowment Lands, Lions Gate Bridge, a view from Granville Street Bridge, Burrard Bridge, The Millennium Gate (Chinatown), and totem poles in Stanley Park

On a beautiful Spring Sunday in 1997,  I had a business trip planned to fly from Boston, MA to Vancouver, British Columbia.   At that time I was selling hi-tech inspection equipment and this potential new client was interested in placing a larger order.  They were a distributor selling into the Pulp and Paper Mills throughout Canada.  I arrived safely and had a good night’s rest.   At breakfast, I could not help but hear several people talking about Bald Eagles, as they looked at the newspaper.   I di not have time to purchase and read the local Vancouver area Newspaper, so I finished my breakfast and prepared to drive to my customer meeting.  

The meeting went well, and the client believed we had a great solution for them, and yes, a few weeks later I got a great order for 20 vision inspection systems.  My customers invited me to have lunch at their favorite local restaurant overlooking on of the many small harbors in the area.  The hotel restaurant had an outdoor eating area, so we settled down, ordered drinks and our meals and continued our discussions on our business meeting. 

As I looked out over the harbor which had large rocky hills on both sides with heavy tree foliage near the waters edge, I noticed a majestic bird soaring down from the top of the rocky hill towards the harbor.   

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

My customers pointed out that it is a bald eagle, and this was the first time I saw a bald eagle in its own habitat.  I was instantly focused on the bird, and not the business discussion.  Before my eyes, I noticed the bird heading straight for the water.  I could not tell if it was diving, or falling and one of my clients noticed the same thing.  He said he hoped it was not another bald eagle “falling out of the skies”.  To our pleasant surprise, the eagle extended its talons just above the water and it swooped down to catch a large fish that must have been at least a foot long or longer.  This incredible bird flapped its wings and began climbing with this heavy load.  What a site to see in real life, and not just on TV.


I asked my customer what he meant by eagles falling from the sky.  He told me there were several articles recently in the local paper.  In the past, when the salmon runs are minimal, eagles can fall from the sky from starvation.  But that year, salmon was plentiful.  A search took place to find the fallen eagles.  After several days, one was found and was dead on the rocks.  After testing the eagle in the lab, it was determined that the eagle had a high content of potent tranquilizer in its body, the type often used to bring down a large animal such as a bear.  Speculation was that poachers tried to bring down an animal, but never recovered the animal.  Scavengers must have started devouring the carcass and one or more the eagle feed on the meat from the animal as well.  


This story touched my heart to learn that such a majestic animal as a Bald Eagle could fall prey to poachers in this manner.     I have never forgotten this story, and every time I look in the sky and see a soaring falcon, hawk or other large bird of prey, I think about that story and experience in my past.

Edward C.

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