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Hood ornament? Bald eagle spends day perched in Montevideo used car lot

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The call received by the Montevideo Police Department was a simple one: the eagle has landed.

On a Buick. In our lot of pre-owned vehicles here at Adams Motor Co. What should we do?

That's not a call you get everyday – probably not any other day, in fact.

But Montevideo's finest knew what to do:

Be sure to admire it for awhile. Salute it. Snap a few photos and post them to Facebook.

Then summon an expert from the Department of Natural Resources to make sure the eagle is healthy, give it a ride out of town, and watch it take flight.

OK, it was not really a hood ornament because it was perched on the trunk of the Buick – for several hours, police say.

But it was a bald eagle, even without the bald head and yellow beak. When they're juveniles, the eagles don't yet have those distinctive features, the National Wildlife Federation tells us.

The bald eagle's comeback

The sight of a young bald eagle chilling on top a car for a few hours is still a novelty, but is no longer the shock it would have been a few decades ago.

The bird's recovery from endangered status is one of America's greatest wildlife success stories.

A bald eagle that hatched near Bemidji back in 1977 became part of the recovery by re-establishing the species in western New York's Finger Lakes region. That bird was found dead last month at the ripe old age of 38, making him the country's oldest known eagle.

You can learn more about bald eagles – and get an up-close look at one – by visiting the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.

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