The 13 bald eagles found dead on a Maryland farm over the weekend spawned an investigation by the federal government. While the bald eagles are no longer on the endangered species list, they are still a protected bird in the nation.
MSN News on February 23 reports that authorities called this tragic event “the largest singe die-off of bald eagles in the state in 30 years.” The Maryland Natural Resource Police have started a probe into the cause of death of these birds, with the theory that the birds may have been poisoned at the top of the list for the possible cause of death.
The Natural Resource Police were investigating a call they got from a man who said he was out looking for deer antlers on the property of a Maryland farm when he came across four dead bald eagles. At first the man thought he was looking at a dead turkey, but with further inspection he realized it was carcasses of the protective birds he had stumbled upon, prompting him to call in the report, according to USA Today.
When the National Resource Police arrived they searched the area for any clues as to what could have caused the eagles to die and this is when they found another nine dead bald eagles. The Maryland farm is in Federalsburg and the birds were found in a field on Laurel Grove Road.
The cause of death was not immediately clear, said spokesperson Candy Thompson of the Natural Resource Police. She also said that the investigation has shown “no obvious signs of trauma” to the eagles. Thompson is appealing to the public to come forward if anyone heard anything or saw anything. If anyone has any information on these dead bald eagles, they are asked to get in contact with the department.
Six investigators combed the area looking for other dead eagles and any other dead animals in the area, but none were found. The birds are being tested in “the best lab in the world,” according to Thompson, who sent the birds to a lab in Oregon. Thompson said:
“It’s been 30 years since we’ve seen anything like this involving this many dead bald eagles,” Thomson said. “Three mature eagles, the ones we all love that look like the national bird, are gone.
The video above suggests the birds could have eaten rodents that were poisoned and had died out in the field. The bald eagles could have come along and ate the carcasses of the rodents and died soon after. Again, this is just a theory and the cause of death should be revealed once that lab in Oregon examines and tests the bird carcasses.