BREWER, Maine — Thursday morning started out peacefully for Jeffrey Webb.
The 63-year-old Eddington man was enjoying a sun-splashed summer day sitting in his parked car close to the Penobscot River near the Brewer Health Center on South Main Street with a sandwich from Tozier’s Market and a copy of the Bangor Daily News when a thud on his windshield startled him.
“I thought someone had taken a gun and shot at me,” he said. “I saw sliming, so I said, ‘What the heck was that?’”
The splatter on the windshield of Webb’s sedan turned out to be a foot-and-a-half-long eel that was dropped out of the sky by a group of bald eagles.
The sequence of events happened around 10 a.m. Webb said he had dropped a friend off for work at the Vacationland Inn before going to Tozier’s to get a sandwich and subsequently park behind the medical facility to enjoy the view of the river.
Webb said five eagles were flying about 20 feet above his vehicle when they dropped the eel. A short time later, another bird, the species of which Webb could not identify, swooped down and snatched the dead eel.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life and I’m 63 years old,” Webb said. “That was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.”
Webb said two young girls, around the ages of 8 to 10, who had been playing at a playground near the medical facility, and their father were the only other witnesses to the birds dropping the eel. He said the clan was probably 30 feet away from Webb’s vehicle when the eel struck his windshield.
Webb said he has seen bald eagles on multiple occasions at this same spot along the river.