Pet owners in Glace Bay, N.S. are keeping an eye on the sky after an eagle recently attacked and killed a seagull as it perched atop a power pole in the area.

The gruesome incident was caught on camera by Nicole MacLean’s father.

“My father was just kind of sitting around his pool and he noticed the eagle fly in because of its huge wingspan,” says MacLean. “He was really shocked and came down with his phone to show me the video. He couldn’t believe it either. He said it looked like somebody had opened up a pillow.”

MacLean says bald eagles aren’t that unusual and there could be at least four of the birds spotted in the neighbourhood on any given day, but she’s never seen an attack like the one her father captured on his cellphone.

“I felt really bad for the seagull because you can hear his buddies crying in the background,” she says. “I was really shocked.”

Terry Power, with Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources, says Cape Breton’s eagle population has been increasing over the past number of decades.

He says bald eagles are usually attracted to fish during the breeding season of spring and summer, but they can be opportunistic when it comes to looking for food.

“They will hone in on bird colonies and it’s quite common for eagles to take things like herring gulls, black-backed gull chicks, any sort of seabird nesting colonies are a prime food during this time of year,” says Power.

The eagle attack has become the talk of the town, with the video being viewed almost 1,000 times on Facebook.

Meanwhile, MacLean says she’s concerned about small pets in the neighbourhood.

“My friend has a small Chihuahua and I told her she should probably keep her indoors,” she says. “For myself, I always keep my pets in because there are foxes and raccoons around. I guess I wasn’t really thinking about an eagle.”

Power agrees that pet owners may want to consider keeping their animals inside.

“Any small pets left unattended are under some risk,” he says.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore