Fighting eagles land on airport tarmac in Minn.

May 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM
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DULUTH, Minn., May 14 (UPI) -- Wildlife authorities in Minnesota said a pair of eagles engaged in a in-flight battle made an unscheduled landing at an airport.

Randy Hanzal, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said the bald eagles locked talons in flight and crashed to the tarmac Sunday at Duluth International Airport, the Duluth News Tribune reported Tuesday.

"Their talons were embedded in each other very deeply," Hanzal said.

Hanzal said he put the birds in the back of his pickup truck, covering them with blankets, jackets and webbing straps. However, he said one of the birds managed to escape during the two-mile drive to the Wildwoods wildlife rehabilitation facility.

"Halfway to the rehabber, there was a ruckus in the back of the truck," Hanzal said. "I looked around and saw feathers flying up. One of the eagles jumped out the back, onto my tailgate."

The remaining eagle was transported to the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, said Peggy Farr at Wildwoods.

"It had some superficial injuries where they had locked talons," Farr said, "but it also looked to me like it had a talon wound deeper into its abdomen."

Julie Ponder of the Raptor Center said the eagle's prognosis is good.

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