Amazing Places

This Small Alaskan Town Is Overrun With Bald Eagles

Imagine Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" but with bald eagles. Massive, screeching, taloned bald eagles. Welcome to Unalaska, Alaska, the small town where bald eagles are as pesky and common as pigeons in New York City. It's a patriotic nightmare.

Related Video: Bald Eagles Float on Ice Down the Mississippi

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It Really Is a Bird!

Unalaska Island sits far down Alaska's tail that juts out into the water and rounds out the bottom of the Bering Sea. Unalaska is the largest city of the Aleutian Islands, despite a population of fewer than 5,000 people. From what we can tell, the town offers classic examples of the striking nature you'll find throughout Alaska, but seems otherwise unremarkable. Then there's the bald eagles. Just like your city might have an excess of rats in the alleys, pigeons on the downtown sidewalks, or cicadas clouding the summer sky, Unalaska has an eagle problem. According to the video below, there are about 600 bald eagles within just a few square miles on the island. The unnatural amount of eagles here is due to Unalaska simply being a great place for the birds to score food.

Though the birds are just part of daily life for the residents, they can sometimes pose big problems. These are no pigeons; bald eagles are big, with sharp claws and beaks, and aren't afraid to fight for their food or to protect their young. As Wired reports, local teenager Ethan Iszler was eating a pizza while walking down the street one day when a bald eagle swooped down and snatched it out of his hand. The injury required stitches.

What do you do about a bald eagle pest problem? Basically, nothing. The birds are protected by the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940. Not convinced? Watch this to fully understand the patriotically nightmarish hell that is Unalaska.

Unalaska, Alaska

Who Run The World? Animals

Unalaska is unique for bald eagle situation, but tons of islands have been overrun by one particular species. If you want something dangerous, head to Ilha da Queimada Grande, nicknamed Snake Island, located off the coast of Brazil. It's home to a species of snake found nowhere else: the golden lancehead viper. There are approximately 2,000 to 4,000 vipers on the 430,000-square-meter island, and because their venom is so strong, the Brazilian Navy does not allow civilians to visit. For a cuter, less deadly experience, Japan's Ōkunoshima will give you a healthy dose of rabbit sightings. More of a cat person? Japan's Tashirojima Island should do the trick. Happy travels, animal lover.

Written by Joanie Faletto September 8, 2017

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