5 min read

Eagles Get Into A Fight — And Get Embarrassingly Stuck

“They seem to have tumbled into the water and would not, or could not, let go of their grip on one another.”

When it comes to arguments, sometimes it’s best to just call a truce and move on.

That’s one piece of advice a pair of fighting eagles could have put to good use last weekend when Pennsylvania resident Rebecca Weaver found them in quite an odd predicament: stuck floating atop the frigid waters of the Susquehanna River with their talons sunk into one another.

eagle talon stuck pennsylvania river
Rebecca Weaver

Weaver was inside on February 25 when her daughter came rushing into the house to alert her mom about a disgruntled screeching she’d heard coming from the riverbank nearby.

“The eagles’ talons were actually latched onto each other’s skin and feathers,” Weaver told The Dodo. The birds’ wings were sprawled out atop the water, and it appeared they had been firmly stuck like that for hours. Clearly helpless, the pair just looked up at Weaver while she contacted the police for help.

Local game warden Rick Deiterich rushed to the scene to answer the family’s call — and assured them that the strange sight was just the result of two stubborn birds trying to claim the land for themselves.

eagle pennsylvania stuck pond
A close-up of the eagles with their talons still stuck together | Rebecca Weaver

“The eagles were likely fighting in the sky over territory and dropped to the ground near the river where they continued their battle,” Deiterich said in a statement. “They seem to have tumbled into the water and would not, or could not, let go of their grip on one another.”

While the birds were definitely persistent at first, the frigid waters had quickly turned the fight into a stalemate. After falling into the water together, the cold temperatures had caused their muscles to freeze up mid-fight — leaving them with two hours or so to settle their differences before they were found.

Luckily, Deiterich came prepared. Using two snare poles, he carefully lifted the attached pair out of the water onto dry land. After drying off, the birds — who were still stuck to one another — were transported to a nearby fire department building to warm up.

eagles rescued river talon trapped
Rescuers working to get the eagles to safety | Rebecca Weaver

An hour indoors in the heat was all the pair needed to thaw out, and eventually they both released their grip on one another. Neither of the birds was injured, so Deiterich opened up a bay door and let the eagles fly their separate ways into the night — as if nothing had ever happened between them.

eagles rescued pennsylvania
The eagles after being lifted out of the river | Rebecca Weaver

While many are calling Weaver a hero for taking action to save the birds, she says her family is just happy to have settled the animals’ dispute without either of them getting hurt.

“Everyone that was involved at our house was very happy and proud to be a part of the rescue,” Weaver said.