Injured Bald Eagle Forces Washington D.C. Trains To Be Re-Routed

An American bald eagle and a juvenile American bald eagle sit on a tree at Mill Pond on July 21, 2018 in Centerport, New York.
Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Commuters in Washington D.C.’s rush hour were forced to endure a delay as trains in the area were re-routed in order to avoid an injured bald eagle near the tracks. According to the Washington Post, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was forced to shift trains around so that rescue workers could whisk the bird to safety, and while some people were upset with the delay, others didn’t mind doing a little waiting for a good cause.

The eagle landed at about 5 p.m. local time and it took crews two hours to get the raptor off the tracks near the Morgan Boulevard Metro station in Prince George’s County. So far, no word on how the eagle came to be there or what the extent of its injuries are.

The local NBC affiliate station live streamed the dramatic rescue, which shows several workers armed with blankets approaching the startled bird and tossing the covers over it. The rescuers were then able to gently lift the eagle and carry it away from the tracks. WMATA said that it cut power to the track as soon as an eagle-eyed traveler spotted the bird, which was clearly unable to fly. The transit authority then kept travelers and well-wishers up-to-date on the eagle’s rescue via Twitter.

“Bald Eagle Update: The rescue team of 8 individuals is being dropped off by train near the eagle. They will confirm third rail power is down and then make their approach,” WMATA wrote.

A short while later, they updated travelers again.

“Bald Eagle Update: Rescued! The eagle has been recovered from the tracks by MTPD and wildlife personnel. They are walking back to Addison Road Station now,” it said.

Finally, after two hours of delays, the eagle and rescuers were safely away and traffic was restored.

“Bald Eagle Update: All personnel are clear of the tracks. Train traffic is being restored on both tracks, both directions. The injured eagle has been turned over to the care of @dccitywildlife. Thanks again to all delayed customers for your understanding!”

The eagle was taken to the City Wildlife rehabilitation center in D.C.

Travelers chimed in on the action, with many riders saying that they were fine waiting for wildlife rescue. One rider wrote that she would have waited all day for a good cause like rescuing an injured eagle.

One individual waiting at the Metro Center tweeted that he was fine with the delay and praying for the bird’s rescue.

Another Twitter user called the rescue the rare legitimate excuse for a delay.