Bald Eagles Soar Through Local Skies

By Brad Bauer, bbauer@mariettatimes.com

January 14, 2008

State wildlife officials proposed Friday to remove Bald eagles and two other raptors from Ohio’s endangered species list because the species are now thriving.

Bald eagles, peregrine falcons and osprey are expected to be considered “threatened” and they will continue to be federally protected. And the eagle will have additional protection under the Bald Eagle Protection Act.

Killing any threatened or endangered species could result in a significant criminal charge or fine, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

"Down-listing is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of biologists and volunteers across the state that assisted in the restoration of these raptors," said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife in a news release.

The bald eagle is making a strong comeback after exposure to certain pesticides severely hindered their reproduction. During a recently completed survey of bald eagle locations in Ohio, biologists observed birds in 53 of the state’s 88 counties.

A total of 480 bald eagles were spotted across Ohio, including 359 adults and 121 immature birds. At least one nesting pair of eagles was reported in Washington, Noble and Morgan counties, according to ODNR.

A statewide eagle survey is ongoing and anyone who spots a bald eagle is asked to report the sighting to wildlife officials.

Observers are reminded not to approach an eagle nest. Human interference prior to and during the nesting season may prompt an eagle pair to abandon a nest or discourage them from using it in the future. It is a violation of both state and federal law to disturb an eagle nest.

Area residents reported seeing several eagles in Washington County last year. The most popular locations for sightings were along the Muskingum River between Devola and Beverly and along the Ohio River between Marietta and Belpre.

Lowell resident Don Wilson said he’s yet to see an eagle this winter. He’s spotted at least one of the birds in each of the past 10 years or so.

“I usually see them after a really cold snap and we just haven’t had that kind of weather,” Wilson said. “I’m still looking, but nothing so far.”

To report a Bald eagle sighting:

Ohio Department of Natural Resources: (419) 898-0960.

BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times

An American Bald Eagle soars over the Muskingum River near Lowell in this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo. Ohio officials propose down-listing the bird from the “endangered” to the “threatened” species list.

Lead Poisoning Killed Eagle At Norris Lake;

Talons Likely Cut After It's Death

May 2009

NORRIS, Tenn (WVLT) -- A bald eagle found dead, missing it's feet and talons, at Norris Lake in February died of lead poisoning.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a necropsy ruled out death by gunshot wounds, chemical poisoning, trapping, or power line electrocution.

Tests on the bird's liver showed elevated levels of lead.

Scientists suspect the eagle may have eaten something containing lead shot.

Although lead shot was banned for use in waterfowl hunting in 1991, it is used to hunt a variety of game animals.

Eagles primarily eat fish, but also scavenge carcasses to supplement their diets.

The eagle was missing both feet and talons. Eagle feet and talons are prized as trophies by poachers who sell them on the black market.

"We now think a more likely scenario is someone came across the dead eagle and cut off the feet and talons as souvenirs," said Ryan Noel, Special Agent, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Knoxville, Tenn. "But this is still an illegal act. Bald eagles, including their feathers and parts, are protected to remove the profit motive."

The Service is requesting anyone with information about this incident to contact the Office of Law Enforcement in Knoxville at (865) 692-4024.

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