It’s a sight a Virginia Beach man won’t soon forget: a majestic bald eagle, sitting at the front window inside an H&R Block tax office, looking out at him.
Harry Patterson, Jr., an insurance agent who works next door to the H&R Block on Newtown Road in Virginia Beach, was returning from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when he spotted our nation’s symbol in a most unlikely place.
“I thought it was a stuffed animal and I was like, Woah,” Patterson tells Bay Bulletin. Patterson pulled out his cell phone, of course, and captured this video:
The eagle, which Patterson reports to be “bigger than my Thanksgiving turkey,” was banging on the glass in an attempt to get out. Patterson wanted to help it, but wasn’t sure how. That’s when the shopping center’s landlord noticed one window was smashed, where the raptor must have crashed through the glass.
It didn’t seem injured, and Patterson couldn’t see any blood around the smashed window. He and his landlord called the police, and Patterson took shelter in his office while keeping an eye on the eagle.
Soon enough, the bald eagle took flight from the tax office and flew away from the shopping center as though nothing had happened. Patterson captured the happy ending on video, too:
The eagle had been spotted in a grassy area of the parking lot earlier that morning, feasting on a seagull. The bird of prey had the gull in its mouth or talons at the time of the crash, witnesses told Virginia Beach Animal Control. After the eagle had flown off, Animal Control responded to remove the seagull, a spokesperson tells Bay Bulletin.
According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, it’s common for birds to mistakenly crash through windows, even those with eyesight as keen as a bald eagle’s.
–Meg Walburn Viviano