This is a story from last year wintering in Kamchatka.
It is a bright and fresh December morning with the temperature somewhere below -13F (-25C). But the sun is rising, so it's getting slightly warmer. I am pacing along the banks of Kronotskaya river, if I'd walk slower my feet would freeze in my rain boots. The fog is coming from the water. Large fish is leaving crease marks on the surface - the coho salmon ruts are still going upstream for spawning. Next to the spawning ground, on top of an old Erman's birch tree I see tree Steller's sea eagles sleeping. As I approach two of them fly away. When I come closer I notice that the bird that stayed did not even move: his head was under a wing, just as a common village rooster.
"The eagle must be dead," - I'm thinking -
"the night was cold so he must be frozen." So I take several picture of him from a close distance, and then start climbing the tree to take this poor late representative of endangered eagle kind and send it with the next helicopter to the Kronotsky Nature Reserve science center for investigation of death. My attempts to climb the tree branch fails as it seems too frigile at such low temperature. Then I start rocking that branch gently hoping to shake the frozen bird down to the ground covered with snow. But at the first movement of the branch, the eagle has spread his wings that span over 7 feet, and took off, looking at me with great surprise. As it turned out, the eagle just fell soundly asleep under the warmth of the morning sun after enduring the harsh night frost.
As for me, I was quite happy that I did not need to send him to that science department for investigation!
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