Though usually pictured flying majestically against a mountain backdrop or embossed as the iconic image on the back of a U.S. quarter, a pair of bald eagles in Oregon showed off a side that’s rarely seen — at least in a suburban backyard tree.
Crowds gathered around a tree in Portland, Ore., Monday as news spread that a pair of eagles were battling each other for the territory, though many thought they were just stuck at first, KATU-TV reported.
At one point, video of the eagles shows them holding onto each other talon to talon as one was upright and the other hung upside down. Other footage shows them struggling, flapping and pecking at each other.
After four hours, a crew in a cherry picker from the local Audubon Society broke up the fight.
Lacy Campbell with the Audubon Society, who took footage from tree height with a helmet-mounted GoPro camera, said the focused eagles didn’t even notice the crew until they were close up in the tree.
Watch the footage from KATU-TV:
Once the eagles saw they were being watched, it broke their concentration and resolve and they both took off.
Though it might appear to be a draw, KOIN-TV reported that they chased each other as they flew away.
Susan Barnes with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife told KGW-TV that while one of the birds appeared injured, she thinks it will still recover well on its own.
“I didn’t think it would be that traumatic to me,” Kate Carder, a member of the group Oregon Birders who drove across the city to witness the event, told KATU. “I’m still shaken to the core.”