Steve and Jessica Hiatt raced down the stairs in their Washington home ready to face an intruder.
Instead, the husband and wife found a broken living room window and a bald eagle.
The couple lives in a multi-story home on American Lake in Lakewood, Washington. At about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 16, the two heard a loud noise coming from their living room downstairs.
“It sounded like plates, silverware, like things being just ripped out of the cupboard,” Jessica Hiatt told McClatchy News on May 19.
Steve Hiatt grabbed a gun and began making his way downstairs, with his wife following behind.
“Put your hands up. I’ll shoot. Stop, whatever you’re doing,” Steve Hiatt said he yelled out to the believed intruder.
When they reached the living room, Steve Hiatt said they saw shattered glass.
“There was glass blown in at least 10 feet into our living room,” he said. “It just looked like a bomb had gone off through our window.”
Home intruder turns out to be bald eagle
That’s when they saw a massive wing appear from behind a chair, and a bald eagle jumped out.
They realized the eagle had crashed through the reflective, double-pane window in their living room.
Steve Hiatt and his wife, not wanting “to deal with those talons,” turned around and went back upstairs to call the police and wildlife officials.
As they were on the phone, they saw the eagle fly out from the story below them and go toward the lake.
Wildlife officials responded to their home minutes after the bird left, Steve Hiatt said.
Couple says eagle was a ‘sign’
“Because the eagle is OK, it makes a really magical experience,” Jessica Hiatt said.
The couple said they think the eagle was a sign. They both got eagle tattoos after they got married at the house last summer, and they often see them flying in the area.
“We’ve always talked about eagles. We sit here, and we watch them,” Steve Hiatt said.
They are also looking into putting window markers up to keep any birds from crashing into it again.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for more information on Friday, May 19.
Lakewood is about 40 miles southwest of Seattle.