Tonight is a story about a mid-air collision over the Duluth Airport in Minnesota last Sunday, but it has a happy ending all survived in the crash landing… However is was no ordinary collision and crash landing, if you look at the photos below you will see it was two bald eagles that were fighting in midair over the Airport when they locked talons, and were unable to disengage in time before crashing on to the runway.
Apparently, mature eagles will sometimes fight over territories, reported ” Randy Hanzal, a Minnesota conservation officer, “They will do battle in the air, crashing into each other and grabbing an intruding eagle with their talons. Usually, they will let go of each other before hitting the ground, but in this case, they had the talons so deeply imbedded in each other they may have been unable to let go.” Hanzal was the one who was called in to collect the birds and deliver them to Wildwoods, a wildlife rehabilitation center in Duluth. “Surprisingly, the two eagles were remarkably calm as I grabbed them both and loaded them into the back of my truck,” Hanzal said. “I think they were still more intent on winning the battle than any concern for me.” Hanzal didn’t have a container big enough for the eagles, so he put them in the bed of his truck, covered them with blankets and jackets, and strapped them down with webbing. “Halfway to the rehab center, there was a ruckus in the back of the truck,” “I looked around and saw feathers flying up. One of the eagles jumped out the back, onto my tailgate.”
That eagle flew away, apparently no worse for wear. The other eagle smartly hung around to get treated with antibiotics, fluids, and pain medication (photo 3). So there you have it, a story with a twist and a happy ending.