Dandon Miller of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was enjoying a motorcycle ride on the highway on Memorial Day weekend when traffic stopped suddenly in front of him.
Traffic jams aren’t uncommon on one of the busiest traffic days of the year, but this was no normal congestion. Everyone had come to a stop because a giant bird had been hit and injured by a car and was stranded in the middle of the road, unable to fly.
After pulling over to help, Miller noticed that the bird in question was a bald eagle!
Of course, others on the highway snapped photos and word spread quickly on social media of the eagle sighting.
People were eager to get out there to help, but no one was sure what to do until Miller arrived.
“I looked down to see why everyone was stopping and there was a bald eagle in the middle of the road,” Miller told The Dodo. “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.”
Grabbing his favorite black and red flannel shirt, Miller decided to get the bird to safety. He covered the eagle’s large talons with his shirt and scooped her up.
Much to his surprise, the bird remained calm in his arms as they waited for Pennsylvania State Troopers & The Tri-State Bird Rescue to arrive.
While photos from the scene are incredible, the onlookers’ desire to snap pics of the eagle did rile the injured animal up a bit.
“She got a little worked up when people started wanting to take pictures, but we were able to get that under control.”
From the 911 call to the time the rescuers arrived at the scene Miller held and comforted the 15-pound bird for 45 minutes.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it when I was holding her,” Miller said. “I was just trying to keep her calm and make sure she knows she’s secure, and I wasn’t going to drop her or anything.”
Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, Inc, told Action News that the eagle will likely recover and be released back into the wild:
“The bird has injuries to its feet and one wing. She also has a mild eye injury. No broken bones. She is being treated with antibiotics and pain medications. She is also receiving subcutaneous fluids. She is eating on her own. We are cautiously optimistic about her prognosis for release, but it will depend on how the wing injury heals.”
In the meantime, Miller is keeping his flannel shirt as a memento of the occasion, despite the fact that it now has giant holes in it from the eagle’s talons.
“It was just amazing to hold that bird and for her to be calm like that,” Miller added. “Just amazing.”
He says he intends to continue wearing the shirt.
If you’re interested in donating to the rescue organization treating the eagle, you can click here to make a donation to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.
In the meantime, you can scroll down to see news coverage of Miller’s patriotic adventure.
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