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Feuding Bald Eagles Wake West St. Paul Neighborhood

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - People in a West St. Paul neighborhood woke up to an unusual site this morning.

It appeared that two bald eagles had gotten stuck together while fighting in a tree on the 200 block of Bernard Street.

They stayed that way for hours, waking up neighbors with their occasional screeching.

"I don't know what they were fighting over, but it must have been good," said Pat Noack of the South Metro Fire Department.

Noack and his fellow firefighters got a call Wednesday morning to try and help break up the fight. It didn't take long to realize this was no ordinary tussle.

bald eagles
(credit: Deb Corty)

"One kind of had a talon in the other one's chest, and they were pecking at each other," Noack said.

A raptor expert said the two eagle males were about 5 years old. It's not unusual for bald eagles to fight over territory. But it is unusual to see this happen in the middle of town.

"They were on the lower branch just hanging there," said neighbor Deb Corty. "Just kind of fighting, but they looked like they were stuck. It was different. They were beautiful. They were big."

And they were very angry. The fight began at 6 a.m. Noack and his crew arrived with their ladder truck so two DNR officers could get close to the birds in order to try and separate them.

"We see eagles around every once in a while," said Noack. "They're usually up high, but never this close."

But as they got close, the bird battle went from fight to flight.

"The two birds -- voom! -- just got away," Corty said.

And as they flew away in opposite directions, both appeared to be fine, living to fight another day.

In all, the struggle lasted about three hours. And it provided Corty with a morning she won't soon forget.

"I was just glad they weren't hurt," she said. "We were worried about them falling out. They were right above that picket fence. So if they did fight hard enough and fall, who knows."

While it appeared the eagles may have been stuck together, experts say it's not unusual for them to grab each other with their talons for hours at a time during a fight.


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