KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

Eagles

Berett Wilber/KUCB

When bald eagles die in Unalaska, it’s the beginning of a long journey. Literally. Many of them travel thousands of miles and find second lives in the Lower 48. 

When Damian Lopez-Plancarte walks into the Wildlife Trooper office and opens the freezer, it looks like Thanksgiving. 

The shelves are jammed full of turkey-shaped items wrapped in plastic. But none of them are turkeys.

“Here we have one, two, three four, five dead eagles,” says Lopez Plancarte, counting each one.. 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Before sending a $6,000 drone to record aerial footage in Unalaska, Emmett Fitch warned the pilot he might want to reconsider one thing.  

“It was black with a white body,” Fitch recalls. “I said, ‘That looks a lot like an eagle. We should maybe paint it a different color.’”

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska is the national hot spot for bald eagle attacks. Biologists and law enforcement officials agree: You’re more likely to be attacked by a bald eagle here than anywhere else in the country.

You are most likely to be attacked by a bald eagle in the post office parking lot. 

Wildlife trooper Damian Lopez Plancarte has just escorted the first eagle victim of the season to the medical clinic. He points out the eagle perched on a nest.