California Earthquake: Watch Bald Eagle Reaction to Tremor That Struck Near Channel Islands

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake rattled Southern California on Thursday (April 5) in what was the area's strongest quake in several years.

The shocks were felt as far away as Bakersfield, Palmdale and the city of Orange, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

One of the best bits of footage to come out of the quake was captured by a Channel Islands National Park live cam, which recorded the reaction of a male bald eagle as the tremor reached its nesting site on Santa Cruz Island.

The bird can be seen looking around in panic as the quake shakes its nest and the three chicks it is guarding. The eagle evidently decided it was better off with the safety of the open sky, and launched out of view.

Thankfully, it soon returned to the nest to check on the chicks as the quake subsided. For their part, the three chicks seemed relatively nonplussed by the event.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 struck off the coast of Santa Cruz Island today. Visitors and staff on the island felt the quake, but nobody was injured and no park structures were damaged. The Sauces Canyon bald eagles'...

— Channel Islands NPS (@CHISNPS) April 6, 2018

The earthquake's epicenter was about 6 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, some 23 miles from the Channel Island and 85 miles west of Los Angeles, according to the USGS. There were no reports of injuries or significant damage.

The earthquake was caused by offshore faults, which are part of the system that "moves Southern California around a bend in the San Andreas Fault," Lucy Jones, a seismologist who formerly worked for the USGS, said on Twitter.

The temblor, though relatively small, was enough to activate California's earthquake early warning system. John Vidale, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times, "We all felt it pretty well. It was small and distinct. We heard the warning go off and then we heard the shaking."

March's federal budget approved $22.9 million in additional funding for Southern California's early warning system, which is currently only available to a small number of testers. The USGS hopes to be able to use the system to deliver limited public alerts by the end of this year. The earthquake was not strong enough to trigger the area's tsunami warning system.

Vidale said that although a 5.3-magnitude quake is no doomsday scenario, it could have caused significant damage "if it was right under our feet." He explained, "It's right on the edge of being an earthquake that could be dangerous. It's a reminder that we need to be ready in the future."