Two big males getting macho over their territory isn’t usually a pretty sight, but it’s a different thing when the antagonists are a pair of bald eagles.
A woman in Portland, Ore., spotted two American bald eagles in a tree attacking each other with their talons Monday morning, according to ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.
After receiving a call from neighbors, a team from the Audubon Society arrived two hours later.
“When we saw the eagles in the tree, the eagle on the bottom branch had locked his talons into the other one’s face,” Wildlife Care Center Operations Manager Lacy Campbell said.
She said the two grown eagles, which appeared to be males, were up in a tree 50 feet from the ground and had been fighting for several hours in a territorial dispute.
Fights between eagles occur several times a year around this time, Campbell said. Over the past few months, the Audubon Society has been receiving several calls a week about these territorial fights. Usually, one eagle gets injured very badly. But in this case, while there was some bleeding, it was hard to tell what conditions the birds ended up in.
Campbell said she came to the scene with another wildlife veterinarian, prepared to go up in a cherry picker and remove the two bald eagles.
“As soon as we got within three feet of the birds, they recognized we were there, and they just flew off,” she said.
These attacks between bald eagles are common in Oregon, and Campbell said there’s a bright side to that.
“It’s nice because even though we’re getting a lot of calls like this, that means that there a lot of bald eagles out there,” she said.