Fire department swoops in to help separate entangled eagles


A Twin Cities fire department received a unique call Wednesday morning to help break up a fight between two territorial bald eagles.

The eagles, with their talons sunk into each other, were up in a tree in the yard of a West St. Paul home, the City of West St. Paul said on Facebook.

"They basically had ahold of each other," firefighter Patrick Noack told the Pioneer Press. "One had a talon in the other one's chest it appeared, and they were refusing to let go."

After a few hours of being stuck, the University of Minnesota Raptor Center and the state Department of Natural Resources thought it was best to free the eagles, the Facebook post said.

That's when the South Metro Fire Department was called in to help.

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The fire department used their ladder truck to help to bring a firefighter and two DNR officials closer to the birds, but the eagles freed themselves as they approached, the South Metro Fire Department wrote on Facebook.

The eagles fell to the ground and then flew away, seemingly uninjured, the Pioneer Press notes.

Noack told the newspaper that he has never seen a bald eagle in West St. Paul before and the call was a first for the department.

It's not uncommon for two bald eagles to become entangled in territory disputes, though they will usually spring themselves loose, the Raptor Center says. But that's not always the case – last spring, two male bald eagles locked talons in midair and tumbled to the ground and wouldn't let go. Wildlife officials had to step in to free the birds.

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