Bald eagles are very good at killing things and being symbols of America. They’re less adept at conflict resolution.
This explains how two bald eagles wound up stuck in a drainage ditch in Orlando for a few hours.
Finding the two birds stacked in the ditch, some witnesses initially assumed that one bird was protecting its mate, though Dianna Flynt, from the Audubon Center of Birds of Prey, told Orlando’s News 6 that that was actually the opposite: The pair were fighting over territory in the middle of the birds’ nesting season.
“What we have is a fight going on, and they fight unbelievably to the battle but hopefully not to the death,” Flynt said.
The dominant bird in the scenario flew away when rescuers, including help from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, approached the pair around 6 p.m. on Thursday, and the second one was rescued after about an hour’s effort from the Audubon Center’s specialists. It was covered with a blanket and placed into a box for transport to the Center.
Flynt said that the rescued bird, believed to be a female, is likely dealing with puncture wounds as a result of the fight. It costs the Center about $3,000 to fully rehabilitate a bald eagle, and the organization has helped almost 100 this year so far. If you’re interested in donating to the animal’s rehabilitation, you can do so here.