You may have read stories about two adult bald eagles recently recovered together near Duluth, MN. While one bird was able to fly away, the other was severely injuried and is currently a patient in our clinic. Acknowledging that the bird has not been here long, the prognosis at this time appears to be good. It sustained deep puncture wounds from the talon’s of the other eagle, a consequence of a suspected territorial fight.
When the birds were recovered, they were “talon-locked” and were not easily separated. Most often, when adult eagles lock talons with each other they are either battling over a breeding territory (usually 2 members of the same sex are involved), a male and female are engaged in courtship activity (no harm comes to either bird during courtship) or they are trying to drive a juvenile bird out of a breeding territory.