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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 14, 2014 at 4:53 PM

SPD officer credited with assisting ‘erotically entangled’ eagles

A Seattle police officer is credited with putting herself in harm’s way to protect a crowd from two erotically entwined eagles in Leschi Park on Wednesday.

You read that right: erotically entwined eagles.

Officer Vanessa Flick noticed a large crowd gathering around a bald eagle lying on a paved pathway as she drove past Leschi Park on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Seattle Police Department. She assumed the bird was dead, but then saw that it was blinking and breathing, Flick wrote in a report. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there were actually two bald eagles on the ground.

The eagles didn’t show any obvious signs of trauma, so it was unclear how they had crash-landed. A witness told Flick that the eagles “appeared to spiral mid-air” together before their descent. A second witness, described by Flick as “very knowledgeable about bald eagles,” said he thought the birds had locked talons and become stuck after taking part in a “mating ritual.”

According to the American Eagle Foundation, bald eagles perform a courtship ritual called “cartwheeling.”

“In this magnificent display, the eagles soar to dizzying heights, lock talons, and begin a breathtakingly death-defying plunge to the earth,” the Foundation writes on its website. “Just moments before striking the ground, the eagles disengage and once again soar to the heavens. If the timing is not perfect, certain death awaits this pair of speeding bullets.”

Flick called the Seattle Animal Shelter to help the eagles, and she stayed with them until their “erotic entanglement took one final, majestic turn,” the Police Department said.

“I felt wind on my face and heard flapping,” Flick wrote. “The two were taking off in flight together.”

Comments | More in Environment, General news | Topics: bald eagles, birds, eagles

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