The eagle, which was not immediately identified, landed on the tracks about 5 p.m., Metro said in a tweet. It took about two hours for the bird to be rescued and carried to safety — and for regular train traffic to be restored.
As efforts to reach the bird were underway, Silver Line trains were rerouted to New Carrollton, instead of Largo, to “keep things moving as we await wildlife personnel for the bald eagle,” Metro said in a tweet. The Blue Line continued to Largo but was single-tracking between Addison Road and Morgan Boulevard stations, officials said.
It was not clear where the eagle had come from or what its injury was.
Officers from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources arrived just before 6 p.m., Metro said, and, together with a team of transit workers, walked toward the bird carrying long blankets.
Like toreadors carrying capes, the four men advanced slowly, the fabric in their hands outstretched. Then, all at once, they covered the bird with the blankets and plucked it from the tracks. It was carried away in a container and turned over to City Wildlife, a rehabilitation center in D.C.
Train traffic was fully restored in both directions just after 7 p.m.
For their part, Metro riders seemed to understand — even, in some cases, applaud — having to endure a delay for the sake of the bald eagle’s welfare.