Bald Eagles Drop in Sterling Front Lawn

A pair of unexpected visitors fell from the sky into the front yard of a Sterling, Va., resident.

When Jan Hobbs, 64, returned home from Christmas shopping Monday afternoon, she was surprised to discover a pair of adult bald eagles in the grass in front of her house.

"I pulled into the driveway, and when I opened the door, I heard this horrible racket," Hobbs said.

She said the eagles appeared to be locked together, and were flapping their wings trying to loosen themselves.  "They might have gotten their talons tangled," Hobbs said.

Hobbs, who has lived on Gordon Street in Sterling since 1971, said she had never seen an eagle in her suburban neighborhood before Monday.  She immediately called her daughter, and then picked up her camera and started taking pictures.  Despite the size of the birds, Hobbs approached within 10 feet.

"They were probably as scared of me as I was in awe of them," she said.

Hobbs said she was going to call animal control, but after 15 minutes they had untangled themselves and flew away.

"It was just one of those unexpected things," Hobbs said.

According to the Center for Conservation Biology, the eagle population has made a dramatic recovery in Virginia since near extinction in the 1970s.  Today there are 680 breeding pairs in the region.

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