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A pair of bald eagles was caught on video entangled on a Minnesota street

Two bald eagles entangled after a fight in Plymouth, Minnesota.
Plymouth Police Department
Two bald eagles entangled after a fight in Plymouth, Minnesota.

You know what they say about birds of a feather.

A pair of bald eagles was recently caught on camera entangled, talons seemingly interlocked, on a Minnesota street.

The two birds writhed around together and at times cried out, but for minutes they were unable to separate themselves from each other.

"I don't know what to do with them," Plymouth police officer Mitchell Martinson can be heard saying in body camera video recorded at the scene. "They're definitely locked together, kind of out of energy."

It's unclear how the birds came to be connected or why they struggled to free themselves.

Crystal Slusher of the American Eagle Foundation said territorial fighting or courtship could be to blame.

"As the bald eagle population grows, so do disputes, and it's usually over prime nesting territory," Slusher told NPR.

She said disputes among eagles typically start with threat vocalization, circling displays or chases before a physical brawl breaks out. "As you can see by the event that took place, these fights can get pretty serious and result in injury or death to one or both of the eagles involved."

Slusher also said it was possible the birds had just performed an in-air courtship ritual, which involves interlocking talons and plummeting toward the ground before separating and flying away at the last moment. "It could've went wrong and they just didn't let go in time," she said.

Whatever the case, it was a police call unlike any Martinson had ever had before.

"We do have de-escalation tactics," he said in an interview with CBS Minnesota, "but I've never applied them to eagles or other animals."

Martinson said the eagles eventually separated and flew away, apparently unharmed.

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