ORLANDO, Fla. – Two bald eagles were freed after being stuck in a storm drain in Orlando for several hours Thursday, Orange County Fire Rescue said.
One bald eagle was able to fly away after about an hour into the incident. The second eagle was rescued an hour later by specialists from the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.
A fire rescue crew, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials and law enforcement officers were called just before 5 p.m. to try to get the two eagles out of the drain on Goldenrod and Curry Ford roads.
The birds were spotted with one bald eagle on top of the other with its wings spread.
Originally, there was speculation that the bird on top could be protecting its mate, but Dianna Flynt from the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey said that couldn't be further from the truth.
She said it's currently eagle nesting season and she believes the eagles got into a fight when one bird got into the other bird's territory.
"What we have is a fight going on, and they fight unbelievably to the battle but hopefully not to the death," Flynt said.
Flynt said the first task for officials would be to get the bird that was on top unattached from the other, but that bird flew away at about 5:54 p.m. Prior to that, it had hardly moved a feather during the hour-long incident.
The bird debacle caused traffic to back up along Goldenrod and Curry Ford during rush hour traffic.
The American bald eagle is the national bird and animal of the U.S. and is a federally protected bird