SEATTLE -- A bald eagle was hit and killed by a Metro bus Tuesday on the SR 520 floating bridge in Seattle.
According to Linda Thielke with Metro, the eagle flew into the windshield of the Route 167 bus during the morning commute.
The bus driver said he saw a bird sitting on the railing ahead, but as the bus got closer the eagle began to fly alongside the bus. The eagle turned and flew into the right side of the windshield, breaking it. Thielke said the bus driver was unable to swerve into the other lane to miss the eagle.
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Capt. Bill Hebner said there is a high probability the eagle was the male that is frequently seen perched on top of light poles on the 520 bridge, and nests at the nearby Broadmoor Golf Course in Seattle.
Hebner said the carcass was picked up by Washington State Department of Transportation workers and turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve its feathers for Indian religious and tribal ceremonies.
The eagle was popular with drivers in the area, many recognizing it on their way in or out of the city as they go to work each morning across 520.
Hebner says the eagle may have been scavenging a duck or other dead animal when it was hit.
The Broadmoor nest has been productive, and Hebner says any eagles born there this year have likely already fledged and become independent.