Lifestyle & Human Interest

Bald Eagle Causes Traffic Jam When Injured Wing Leaves Her Stranded on Highway


Colloquialisms do a great job of communicating a big idea in just a few words. Consider the saying “he’d give you the shirt off his back” and the way in which it encapsulates the idea of helping another at one’s own expense.

Generally, the phrase is used figuratively to describe human interactions, but it turns out that giving that so-called shirt can apply to more than just people.

One Pennsylvania man ended up helping a decidedly non-human national icon — and it ended up quite literally costing him his shirt!

According to The Dodo, Dandon Miller of Pennsylvania was enjoying a ride on his motorcycle on May 25, which was Memorial Day weekend. As he cruised down the interstate, he soon spotted a problem.

Traffic had begun to slow dramatically. As he peered at the road, he soon saw why.

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“I looked down to see why everyone was stopping and there was a bald eagle in the middle of the road,” Miller said.

“Another person was there and they kind of nudged her a little bit to see if she would walk off the road or fly away. She spread her wings open and was not going to go anywhere.”

That must’ve caused Miller’s eyebrows to lift. But he was just a man on a motorcycle, and it would’ve been easy for him to kick his hog into gear and motor on.

However, he chose to do something about the injured bird. Knowing that its sharp talons could do some serious damage, he shucked off his favorite flannel and tossed it over the eagle before scooping it up.

Miller told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, “I called 911, and they called the state troopers, and they called Tri-State [Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.] (the people that are taking care of the eagle now). I held the eagle for about 45 minutes.”

The bald eagle wasn’t exactly a light load. The bird ended up weighing about 15 pounds.

“She was extremely calm,” Miller told Liftable. “For some reason, I wasn’t.”

See, Miller knew how much damage the eagle could do if it got agitated. Fortunately, the situation didn’t come to that.

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LNP reported that Tri-State took custody of the bird. After a minor surgery, the animal appears to be recovering.

“She had a mild injury to one eye and soft tissue injuries, but no broken bones,” Tri-State employee Rebecca Stansell said. “Her wounds were treated by our wildlife veterinarian while the eagle was under anesthesia.”

Stansell added that she expected the bald eagle to make a full recovery. On its Facebook page, Tri-State stated that this isn’t the only bird of its kind to darken the organization’s door.

“This is the 45th bald eagle that has been admitted to our clinic so far this year,” it stated. “Many thanks to all the people who helped with the rescue of this majestic eagle!”

Miller is certainly glad to have helped, saying, “It was just amazing to hold that bird and for her to be calm like that. Just amazing.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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