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Nest-shaking earthquake near Southern California sure did freak out this bald eagle

Camera catches earthquake startle eagle

A bald eagle nesting at Channel Islands National Park was frightened by tremors when a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit Thursday near Southern California and the Channel Islands
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A bald eagle nesting at Channel Islands National Park was frightened by tremors when a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit Thursday near Southern California and the Channel Islands

No major damage was reported after the 5.3-magnitude earthquake shook Southern California on Thursday.

But one bald eagle nesting at the Channel Islands, near the quake’s epicenter, wasn’t so sure everything was going to be OK.

The largest earthquake to hit Southern California in recent years rattled her nest and her nerves, as seen in a live-stream video from Explore.org.

As the tremors start, the mama bird reacts similarly to many humans when the ground below shakes. She swings her head to the left and to the right in panic, seemingly wondering, “What on earth is going on here?”

Then, with three chicks still in the nest, the eagle’s instinct for self-preservation takes over, and she briefly flies away, because, hey, at least the sky wasn’t shaking.

The epicenter of the quake was about six miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, about 23 miles from the Channel Islands and 85 miles west of Los Angeles, according to the Unites States Geological Survey.

Bald eagles, though stately and majestic creatures, have been known to freak out at times during public appearances. At Thursday’s home-opening baseball game for the Minnesota Twins, a bald eagle named Challenger became confused by the crowd at Target Field during the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and tried to climb up and onto the shoulder of Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton instead of its handler, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“I saw it flying toward my face, so I kind of ducked it,” Paxton told the newspaper. “It must have thought I was the [handler]. I think it fell off my shoulder because I didn’t have the perch on my shoulder for it to grab on to.”

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