Bald eagles escape after being trapped in tree

Photos taken by Denise Nutwell

Dunkirk, MD - On Jan. 25 at 7:40 a.m. Sammy Longfellow was leaving for work and heard what he initially assumed to be a hawk making a horrific "screeching" sound very close by. He looked in the direction of the sound and realized that it was not a hawk, but in fact a bald eagle which appeared to be lodged in the top of a tree by his yard.

Longfellow approached the tree and realized it was actually two bald eagles that had intertwined their talons during an apparent brawl and became wedged in the tree, unable to escape.

Longfellow contacted the Calvert County Animal Control Center who immediately dispatched the Department of Natural Resources to our home. Upon arrival of DNR officer, Justin Ball determined that a wildlife rescue was in fact necessary and officer Ball dispatched Dave and Shannon Edwards from a wildlife rescue organization in St. Mary's County, who arrived within the hour.

The iconic birds were assessed from the ground as best as possible by the wildlife rescue professionals, while waiting for a ladder truck to arrive to help gain direct access to the eagles for medical assessment and hopeful release after assessment.

Moments before the ladder truck was due to arrive, and after an estimated 7 hours that the birds hung intertwined upside down, both birds suddenly scuffled about, which was just enough to break themselves loose from one another.

Friends, family and authorities all witnessed the escape of these American icons as they flew into the rural sky over the farmland that surrounds us. Although the eagles were obviously shaken up, thankfully they appeared to be otherwise in good condition, reminding us why this fierce, proud and independent bird is the national symbol of strength and beauty for these United States of America.

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