These two eagles were locked together on a lawn outside Charlottetown and allowed people to approach them. ((Sheila Stretch))

Wildlife officials on P.E.I. released two battling bald eagles that had locked their talons together on the weekend.

'I had a horned owl that actually put its talons right through my left hand, in three places. I know what it feels like.' — Gerald MacDougall, wildlife manager

The eagles were discovered Saturday night on a front lawn by people arriving at a party in Long Creek, just west of Charlottetown.

"They were in distress because they were flopping trying to get apart," said Leith Stretch, one of the people who discovered the birds.

Gerald MacDougall, manager of fish and wildlife for the province, took the call and went to see what he could do.

"I had never seen anything like it, where the two actually had grabbed each other in this death grip and actually allowed people to walk right up to them," MacDougall said.

He believes the eagles got into a fight over a scrap of food.


It took three men to untangle the birds. ((Sheila Stretch))

Wary of the potential injuries from two beaks and four sets of razor-sharp talons, MacDougall took a great deal of care with the birds, covering their heads to calm them and making sure their legs were secured.

"I had a horned owl that actually put its talons right through my left hand, in three places," he said.

"I know what it feels like, and I certainly don't want that to happen again."

MacDougall needed the help of two other men to hold the eagles and pry them apart.

The raptors were then taken to opposite ends of a nearby field, and released into the night sky.


  • Gerald MacDougall did not wear welding gloves while separating the eagles, as this story originally reported.
    Sep 24, 2010 3:06 AM AT