A pair of bald eagles rest in the Lower Mainland. (Black Press File photo)

A pair of bald eagles rest in the Lower Mainland. (Black Press File photo)

Entangled Vancouver Island eagles fly free

Pair of eagles stuck in Bowser tree successfully untangled themselves prior to receiving assistance

A pair of eagles stuck in a tree successfully untangled themselves just as a north Island wildlife rescue organization was coming with assistance.

Gylaine Andersen, manager of wildlife rehabilitation for the Merville-based MARS – Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society – said they received a call on Sunday evening at a property in Bowser where a homeowner spotted two eagles entangled 25 feet up a tree.

“It was too dark to assess the situation, so we thought we’d come back with a bucket truck (Monday). However, in the morning the homeowner called after he looked outside and the eagles were gone.”

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Members from MARS visited the property and couldn’t find any signs of the eagles, and Andersen suspects they may have fallen down from the tree, disentangled and flew away.

She explained during breeding and nesting season, male eagles can get into some pretty spectacular fights.

“They lock talons and sometimes they don’t unlock until they hit the ground – we get a lot of calls like this. In this case, it sounded like they were in a pretty bad spot. (One eagle) may have been bleeding with some puncture wounds to the legs and chest.”

She added sometimes during the fights, eagles can develop deep punctures and can even sustain serious injuries to their eyes and wings.

Generally, males are the ones to get into fights, but some female and male eagles will lock talons when they are mating or fighting over food.

Anderson said if anyone spots eagles stuck in a tree, to take photos and give the organization a call.

“Depending on the situation and if it’s safe to do, we will ask someone to approach the eagles. When a person approaches, they might disentangle themselves and fly away.”

This time of year until late spring/early summer is particularly busy for MARS as eagles begin laying their eggs and chicks will stay in the nest for quite some time compared to other birds due to their size.

For more information or to contact MARS, visit marswildliferescue.com or call 250-337-2021.

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