In what was likely the result of a territorial dispute, two bald eagles were found on the ground in a Shakopee yard on Monday.
The eagles were taken to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center.
See video footage of the eagles here.
Julie Ponder, Executive Director of the UMN Raptor Center, said both the eagles are doing okay.
“They were both in good physical condition before they started the fight, but both have some significant tissue wounds.”Ponder said.
“Probably one of the birds was on the other’s territory, and when they do these aerial interactions they present their greatest weapon,” Ponder said, referring to the eagles’ talons. “There are locking mechanisms in their legs that are very useful for clamping down on prey, but they can get tangled or talon-locked where they are basically just holding on to each other.”
“Most of the time they will separate long before hitting the ground, but in this case they just got tangled up,” Ponder said.
Although it is not confirmed, apparently Twitter and social media played a role in making sure the eagles were taken into a protected-recovery center.
In addition to the talon-lock injury, both birds had lead poisoning — according to Ponder, lead poisoning is common for eagles.
“Thirty percent of eagles that come in here have it,” Ponder says. “The most common source is spent ammunition from deer hunting. Eagles scavenge, and we’ll see a bird that ate something with lead fragments in it.”
Both majestic birds are recovering at the Raptor Center. Ponder stated the birds are eating well and receiving medication. They could potentially be released next week upon reevaluation.
Photos via: Maury Glover and Google