Paraglider vs. Eagle.

Maybe it’s the DayQuil talking,1 but I’m so very tickled by this story about a pair of wild eagles attacking a paraglider in Australia. Reuters reports:

Britain’s top female paraglider has cheated death after being attacked by a pair of “screeching” wild eagles while competition flying in Australia.

Nicky Moss, 38, watched terrified as two huge birds began tearing into her parachute canopy, one becoming tangled in her lines and clawing at her head 2,500 meters (8,200ft) in the air.

“It swooped in and hit me on the back of the head, then got tangled in the glider which collapsed it. So I had a very, very large bird wrapped up screeching beside me as I screamed back,” Moss said.

The wedge-tailed eagle of Australia: “the shark of the air.”

I love the image of traded screeches and screams nearly a thousand feet in the air; it’s so Man Bites Panda After Panda Bites Man. And if it is true, as the article suggests, that the eagles attacked after mistaking the paraglider “as a bird intruder,” one cannot but admire the avian approach to homeland security. Wedge-tailed eagles may have a wing-span of two meters, but think of what kind of bird a paraglider would look like. I think veteran Australian paraglider pilot Godfrey Wenness says it best as he points out that “eagle attacks were rare, but Moss had been flying in an area where the birds were not accustomed to human pilots”:

“Eagles are the sharks of the air. But if you’re a regular they just treat you pretty indifferently,” he said.

That’s right, bitches. The sharks of the air. None of this “they’re more afraid of you than you are of them” nonsense; glide through their neighborhood like you own the place and these birds will fuck you up.

1I have a lot of DayQuil pumping through my system right now, as a low-grade flu-like thing from the weekend has decayed into a high-grade head cold. Despite the drugs, my throat hurts, my head hurts, my face hurts, even my snot hurts, and there is a lot of the latter. It’s Monday morning and I am thoroughly disgusting.

[x-posted to LEVIATHAN and thelunarsociety]

9 thoughts on “Paraglider vs. Eagle.

  1. The sharks of the air! I am so going to remember that. I’m tickled by the story too–the eagles must have thought they were taking out a brightly-colored Pterodactyl. ‘Bout time humans got taken down a peg–we think we’re so hot.

    Hope you feel better soon, babe! There are some nasty germs out there right now.

  2. And they are highly endangered. They are slow to take off and get killed on the road when they are unable to get out of the way quick enough.

    We have a family of 5 nearby and couldn’t be more thrilled

    • Wow. I would love to see one of these birds up close. You Aussies do Fierce Birds like nobody’s business—I’ll never forget seeing my first cassowary. 🙂

      • **Chuckle**

        Fierce Birds, Fierce Snakes, Fierce Spiders, Fierce Lizards. Fierce People in some places 😀
        Stupid roos, Koalas and Wombats. If not fierce then Dumb. David made a Wombat Jump. 🙂 He was tickling him and musta hit a nerve and stared jumping. I never knew wombats could jump! Always learning somthing new!

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