An amazing rescue of a white-tailed eagle was captured on dramatic video in coastal mud banks near Swinoujscie, Poland. Nature photographer Krzysztof Chomicz was on a shoot nearby on July 26, 2016, when he noticed the bird struggling in the muck.
With some assistance from the local fire department, Chomicz crawled out to the bird with a rope tied around his waist for safety. When the man and bird were returned to safety, the eagle was treated by wildlife rehabilitators and is making a full recovery inside a refuge.
The white-tailed eagle was determined to be young, only about six months old and probably just learning to fly when it found itself in the coastal mud bank. He has been nicknamed Icarus after the man in Greek mythology whose aspirations of flight brought him so close to the sun that his waxen wings melted.
The white-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in northern Europe, with an average wingspan of about eight feet (2.4 meters). National Geographic reports that the birds were once nearly extinct, but have made a remarkable recovery in population since the banning of DDT insecticide and PCB chemicals in the 1980s.