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Maryland Can't Figure Out Who Is Killing Bald Eagles

Wildlife officials think someone is killing them by accident
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2019 8:34 AM CDT
File photo of two bald eagles in Washington state.   (Earth Conservation Corps via AP)

(Newser) – Wildlife authorities in Maryland are trying to stop the person who is killing bald eagles—unintentionally. So far this year, seven bald eagles and a great horned owl have been killed along the Eastern Shore by poison, and others were sickened, reports CNN. Sound familiar? Something similar happened in 2016 in Maryland, when 13 bald eagles were found dead. Authorities suspect that a landowner, or landowners, is putting out poison to kill nuisance animals such as raccoons and foxes. The birds then feed on the poisoned carcasses. Specifically, authorities say in a news release that baits are being laced with carbofuran, sold as Furadan, which is especially toxic to birds. They're seeking the public's help in finding the person doing this, but so far no luck.

"It is hard to believe that not one person has information of persons placing a toxic poison that has killed no fewer than 20 eagles in these areas," says investigator Jay Pilgrim of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, per the Baltimore Sun. "The only way this stops is if the local communities come forward with information." In early March, investigators found six dead eagles and the dead owl in Chestertown. Other eagles had "significant injuries" because of the poison. A month later, they found three ailing eagles in the Cordova area, and one of them died. The birds had been feeding on the carcass of a red fox. (On a happier note, this nest of bald eagles is a rarity—it features two dads and one mom.)

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