Jessie Peck proved he was one courageous guy after he found he found himself encountering a flock of bald eagles. His act of bravery was caught on camera and it went viral. But as amazing as bald eagles are, these birds of prey are a force to be reckoned with. They’re fierce hunters with wings, and this was something that Jessie was about to realize for himself.
As a fisherman, Jessie doesn’t just own one boat, but several boats, and when he’s out on the sea, he often encounters birds who land on his deck now and then. Usually, he would have whatever he caught that day just lying around for the birds to snack on, but he had never seen so many eagles like he did one day. They had practically surrounded his boat and Jessie was completely stunned. But when the birds got closer, he did something shocking.
As a fisherman, Jessie had gotten used to seeing birds paying him a visit on his boat over the years. But he had never encountered this many eagles in one spot in his life. There were about twenty birds perched throughout the deck of his boat. Jessie was really blown away by the beauty of these amazing birds. But this wasn’t his first encounter with a bald eagle. In fact, the first time he ran into one, these creatures were still in serious danger.
The bald eagle has been hunted for sport for many years. Most hunters deemed these birds to be game trophies, and everyone wanted one. So, when hunting season began, eagles were on the top of the list. Eventually, the population of eagles dwindled. But hunters weren’t the only danger these majestic creatures would face. There was another reason why eagles were heading straight for the endangered species list.
Bald eagles have been in danger since the late 1800s. Sure, they’re the national bird of our great nation, but people saw them as a nuisance because they would raid farms all the time. They would constantly hunt down livestock, which really ticked off farmers. Eventually, these winged hunters were hunted down by humans. Farmers would shoot them on sight, and soon enough, the eagles’ future started to look dire.
The extermination of the bald eagle continued up until the 1940s, when Congress finally decided to intervene. In 1940, they passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act. This act made hunting and killing bald eagles illegal. This allowed the eagle population to grow once again, but that was only temporary. Eventually, something deadlier than farmers began to threaten the eagles.
Farmers and hunters may have posed a threat to the eagles, but then something else came along. In the 1950s, a pesticide called DDT became very popular and soon enough, crops all across America were sprayed with DDT to ensure a healthier harvest. However, the bald eagles that feasted on the harvest consumed the DDT in the food. Eventually, this started killing them. But then, something amazing occurred.
The bald eagle was once again at risk of going extinct, and it wasn’t until 1972 that a law would save them. The Environmental Protection Agency managed to get the use of DDT banned across America. By this point, there were only 452 nesting pairs of bald eagles recorded to still be around. But the bird has struggled to increase its numbers since that time and Jessie Peck understood this.
When Jessie realized that an entire flock of bald eagles had landed on his boat, he was simply flabbergasted. The birds weren’t afraid of him and they didn’t move either as he approached them. But Jessie meant them no harm. In fact, he picked up a bucket that was full of feeding scraps, and the birds suddenly began to move closer. Jessie felt a false sense of security among the flock. But then he did something that was truly unimaginable.
The birds were mesmerized by Jessie as soon as they saw that he had something they wanted. They wanted to get a taste of some of the feeding scraps, which Jessie noticed the moment he found himself surrounded by the feeding frenzy. But he wasn’t afraid. In fact, he was cool like a polar bear’s toenail. His overconfidence would put him at risk when he did something that put his life in danger.
Jessie believed he would be okay because he thought the birds wouldn’t hurt him. But he forgot one obvious detail and that was that bald eagles are wild animals. So, he grabbed a piece of fish and held it towards one of the eagles. Now eagles don’t generally attack people, but their beaks are powerful and could easily rip into someone’s flesh. Jessie decided to risk it anyway by doing what he did.
Strangely enough, the eagles didn’t approach Jessie. It seemed that years of being mistreated by humanity had made the birds paranoid, so even though he had food in the palm of his hand, they didn’t want to risk taking it from him. This shocked Jessie, who decided to throw the scraps towards the birds instead. But, he also did something that would radically change things for these birds.
Fortunately, one of Jessie’s co-workers had a camera with him, so the entire encounter between Jessie and the birds was filmed. Then, Jessie made a video montage of the experience. But he never expected the response that he got when he uploaded the video on YouTube. The video accrued millions of views, which showed him how much the viewers respected and appreciated the video he put together. After all, the video wasn’t just posted to entertain people.
The video reminded people that the bald eagle population is still struggling. It also inspired them because they saw how Jessie, who is just one man, was able to make a difference in the survival of these majestic creatures. The comments on the video were amazing. In fact, The Weather Channel asked Jessie if they could share the video on their social media platforms. The video was incredible, but how did this affect Jessie?
Jessie will continue to roam the sea on his Alaskan fishing boat, and while fishing is his main priority, he also plans to feed the eagles who land on his deck. Jessie feels fortunate to have had the encounter that he had with the eagles and he intends to continue to bond with them. All in all, this is the typical life of a fisherman, but Jessie’s random act of kindness totally moved people around the world.