Dan Cole came to the rescue of two fighting bald eagles after the raptors became entangled and fell into his pond. He and his wife were watching TV when they noticed the two raptors fighting in the skies above their home.

“Two eagles were fighting above my house near Kachemak Bay, Alaska,” Dan wrote on YouTube. “One buried his talons in the thigh of the other one and they both plummeted into my pond.”

The two birds quickly became waterlogged and risked drowning, so Dan cut a branch and used it to help separate them. His wife filmed him freeing the birds. After unlocking the birds, one eagle flapped to the other side of the pond. The other bird seemed a little stunned from his ordeal, but Dan said that after a few minutes he recovered and flew away.

The American Eagle Foundation told that territorial fighting or courtship could have caused the predicament. As bald eagle populations grow, disputes between the birds of prey increase as well, especially near nesting territory.

Bald eagles are one of the largest birds in North America, and they are incredibly territorial. When eagles fight, it begins with territorial vocalizations that sound like a high-pitched scream. The bird will then circle over the unwanted intruder until it leaves. If it does not go away, the eagle will chase the other raptor until they leave—or until a brawl starts.

When eagles undergo a courtship dance in the air, the birds will interlock talons and plummet towards the Earth before separating right at the last second and flying away. In this case, the two intertwined eagles may have misjudged their dive and stayed stuck until they hit the ground.

Bald eagles can soar over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) high, and their great eyesight lets them see fish up to a mile (1.6 kilometers) away. When they attack, they drop down at up to 100 miles (161 kilometers) an hour! Then they glide just above the water, snag a fish with their feet, and fly off to eat it.


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