Two adult bald eagles made an unplanned landing on the tarmac at the Duluth International Airport on Sunday.
Both birds survived the fall but remained entangled.
One of the eagles escaped and flew off as Hanzal was transporting them to a bird rehab center. The second bird was ultimately delivered to the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
It can be difficult to distinguish male and female eagles, and bird rehabilitator Peggy Farr of the Wildwood rehabilitation center said she couldn’t be sure in this case.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Many published reports state the eagles were “fighting” or “battling” over territory. However, in all probability this was a mating pair engaged in airborne courting behavior, wherein the male and female perform elaborate aerial maneuvers that include locking talons in flight. If this behavior occurs too close to the ground or the birds do not disengage in time, the inevitable happens, as it probably did in this case. Watch the video below to see this behavior. –Don Zaidle, editor-in-chief