Great Stories From Field & Stream Writers: 'Airborne' by Tim Romano

Last summer I traveled to Alaska and fished out of Bristol Bay Lodge. We were a couple of miles from the Bering Sea on an unnamed river at a remote spur camp, chasing silver salmon. I wanted to check the species off my bucket list. We worked really hard all day for the silvers, and we each caught one. That was a special fish for me.

Our guide, Tyler, was filleting my fish when he told me to get out the camera. He wouldn't say why--only that he had a surprise. After I was ready, he whistled and out of nowhere this long-tailed jaeger appeared and just hovered over Tyler. He threw some of the salmon eggs from my fish, and the bird ate them in the air. It circled back many times, eating more eggs and innards--at times right out of Tyler's hand.

Tyler told me that the jaeger has been at the same spot for a couple of years now and knows Tyler by sight. The guides call the bird Scrappy.