Eagle targeting family pets along Willamette River

Eagle targeting family pets along Willamette River

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Swooping low over the Willamette River near Lake Oswego, chasing a pair of ducks in flight, a hunting bald eagle is an impressive sight.

But Tricia Glad's experience with the bird lately has been more frightening than awe-inspiring.

“We've lived here for 14-years,” said Glad, “and have never had something attack our animals, let alone try to attack our kids.”

The family's dog isn't  phased by the fuss, but their outdoor cat hasn't been the same since the eagle left a claw mark on its cheek.

Then there's the family's ducks, Splish and Splash.

“Splash and my other duck were sitting down by the river,” said Tricia Glad’s daughter, Keri. “And then the eagle just came down and just started - and just came down and took it and then it pushed it underwater.”

Splash is recovering. Splish is gone.

The Glads understand some runners along nearby Old River Road say the bird's swooped down on them too.

The eagle is so large, the Glads thought it was a golden eagle, not a bald eagle. Bald eagles are common along the Willamette River.

Bird experts at the Portland Audubon Society are sure the bird is a young bald eagle; not a golden.

The Audubon Society is skeptical about the reported attacks on runners.

The attack on the Glad family's cat would also be unusual.

But the Audubon Society says an eagle targeting ducks like Splish and Splash is natural behavior for this bird of prey.

The Glads wonder what the bird may target next.

“I don't know how it's going to coexist because we watch it - anything that comes around, it starts chasing.”

Bald eagles and golden eagles are both federally protected bird species.