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What a end to the evening last night.  I was headed to the dumpster after dinner to drop off recycling items and I heard a crash in the trees and screeching.  I saw a very large bundle drop from the top of the oak trees by the volleyball court.  At first I thought it was raccoons fighting and falling out of the tree or a squirrel nest with the residents.  The screeching continued and I ran over in my shoes through 3 feet of crusty wet snow to find these 2 eagles locked in battle on the ground.  They flapped around and around connected.  They were entangled and neither was letting go.  I was trying to figure out of they had talons stuck in one another and that is why they could not get apart.

Later after talking with the Northwoods Wildlife Center that came out, I discovered they were probably territorially fighting or mating.  They get very defensive and testy this time of year, I was told.  They locked into a mid air squabble that carried out to the ground.  This went on for 20 minutes

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What do you do when you have 2 eagles locked in mortal combat in your back yard?  After calling Troy and the boys to put their shoes on and come out side, I called the Northwoods Wildlife Center.  They grabbed their eagle gear and headed right out.  I was sure one of them or both were not going to leave the ground alive.  The bigger eagle on the top was making quite a racket the one underneath slowly admitted defeat.  Question is was it alive?

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I ran back into the house while Troy watched the goings on and grabbed my telephoto thinking I would get better pics.  I also needed to get my snow pants and boots on.  I was freezing in 3 foot drifts and scratched up from breaking through the ice layer on top in my yoga pants and shoes

My telephoto kept focusing on the tree closest instead of the eagles, but you can get an idea of what has happening

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This is my favorite pic.  The eagle on top was definitely pissed off.  20 minutes went by with this fighting.  I was determined they had to be injured from the fall or somehow entangled with their talons.  I tried to move to a different angle to get better pics and as suddenly as they landed on the ground together they broke apart.  One flew off in one direction, the other popped up and hopped around in the woods for about a minute and took off slowly as well.  We did see some blood on the tail feathers of the defeated eagle, but it managed to take off.

This is about the time I said to myself “Should have taken a video of this”  Oh well, pics are what I took.

The rehabber from the Northwoods Wildlife Center arrived 5 minutes later relieved to not have to wrangle two pissed off territorial eagles.  She said they were either two males fighting over territory or a female giving a male her opinion of his intentions.  If it was a female she said it probably is the one in the top picture on top.  Female eagles are larger than the males.  This is something I did not know

It was quite a sight to see.  Something I have never seen before and probably will not again.  Wish I had taken video.  Just happy both flew off in one piece