MAITLAND, Fla., Dec. 3 (UPI) — Wildlife officials in Maitland, Fla., said a female bald eagle attacked another female eagle in an apparent attempt to steal the bird’s mate and home.
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey officials said the aggressive bald eagle held its rival down during an attack last weekend and plucked out a number of the bird’s feathers, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Tuesday.
“Her chest looks like a Thanksgiving turkey — completely bare,” Lynda White, coordinator of the center’s EagleWatch program, said of the feathered victim of last Saturday’s attack. “She is beat up. She is just a mess.”
The injured bird was rescued by the bird rescue organization, Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, and it estimated it will take months for the bird’s feathers to grow back.
White said the eagles in Pinellas County, Fla., are in the midst of nesting season and a lack of available habitats in the area has left the wild birds jockeying for homes.
“The birds in Pinellas are suffering from loss of habitat,” White told the Times.
“We have seen a steady increase in territory fights as population increases and territory decreases and I think that this is a classic example of that,” she added.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International