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Bald eagle deaths
Mystery illness claims more bald eagles in Utah
12/24/13 Something is killing bald eagles in Utah, and wildlife officials are scrambling to diagnose the mysterious illness before it spreads.
At least 16 bald eagles have died since the beginning of the month, with another rescued bird likely facing the same puzzling fate, state wildlife officials said Tuesday.
About half of the bald eagles identified since Dec. 1 were discovered dead, while the other half died or were euthanized at rehabilitation centers.
A lab in Madison, Wis., is conducting blood work and toxicology screenings, the results of which may not be available for a couple of weeks, said DaLyn Erickson-Marthaler, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.
“I couldn’t even begin (to speculate) what’s wrong with them yet,” Erickson-Marthaler said of the iconic creatures. “If we start focusing on one thing right now, we could miss something else entirely.”
The bald eagle population has flourished since it was considered an endangered species in 1967 because of a loss of habitat, hunting and DDT poisoning. The number of breeding pairs in the lower 48 states grew from an estimated 417 in 1963 to more than 7,000 in 2005, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The birds were taken off the federal government's endangered species list in 2007 but remain federally protected.
One possibility being considered is poisoning, either intentional or accidental, although the affected birds have been found in different counties throughout Utah — not just one area.
“This is hard to treat because we don’t know exactly what it is,” said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Before they die, the bald eagles are found to have weakness in their legs, which turns into paralysis of one leg and then the other, said Erickson-Marthaler. The birds also experience head tremors and then seizures. They typically die three or four days later.
Utah hiker Taylor Schulte said he found another bald eagle Sunday on a ski trail, capturing the bird’s erratic movements on camera. He and his father-in-law wrapped the bird in a coat and then took it home while they waited for wildlife experts to retrieve it, Schulte told NBC Connecticut.
“There's no doubt that that bird wouldn't have even had a chance if we weren't there,” said Schulte. “With the cold temperatures and the predators in the area, if we hadn't been there … there’s no way it would be alive right now. It definitely needed help.”
Wildlife officials advise people who find a bald eagle not to touch them, and to contact the Division of Wildlife Resources instead.
West Nile Virus kills 27 bald eagles in Utah
December 31, 2013 State wildlife officials say West Nile Virus appears to be the mystery illness that's caused more than two dozen bald eagles to die in Utah this month.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says results of laboratory tests on some of the first birds found indicate they died from West Nile.
Officials say 27 bald eagles have died since Dec. 1, and five others are being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation center.
DWR says in a statement that it believes the eagles ate grebes that were infected with the virus.
Omens of death, 20 pages
OTHER EAGLE THREADS HERE
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2012 Bald Eagle Nesting Season, several nests
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ZionsCRY WORLD NEWS with prophetic analysis
West coast USA
Dec 31, 2013 blog chatter / Internet rumor
I wonder if seagulls that have ingested radiation from their food chain have left the ocean areas to find food in Utah and are being eaten by the eagles.
I think Fukushima radiation is probably causing all the unusual animal/bird sickness and deaths.
Radiation can be carried in dust, rain, fog, food and water.
I am just sickened over what is happening to life on earth.
I cannot imagine evacuating the entire West Coast, which there is a 95% chance this will happen. That means our homes, properties and farm lands would be worthless. There would be this huge abandoned area with damage to living things, unable to support healthy life for many generations.
Sick grebes confirmed as culprit in Utah eagle deaths
Jan 17 2014 Outbreak has killed dozens of raptors; it’s first time West Nile has been seen in eared grebes.
Testing from the National Wildlife Health Center has confirmed that dead grebes in Utah had West Nile virus — which spread to scavenging bald eagles, killing more than 50.
The center confirmed in December that the virus was behind sick and dead eagles that began appearing in northern Utah earlier that month. Wildlife officials came to suspect the migrating eared grebes, which gather on the Great Salt Lake in massive numbers each fall before continuing south.
20,000 grebes died this year, and officials believed eagles feasted on infected birds.
Eaglet died during banding
REMEMBER to keep PERSPECTIVE
Many juvies never make it thru their first year. Dont blame banding teams, they do a valuable service - to the birds, and to us. I am very eager for the Baltimore falcons to be banded to check for bugs and health. Biologists can treat most conditions if need be, a service to the birds. This is only one eaglet lost, and while sad, its only one.
The Florida eagles had 2 eagets and 1 died in the nest 2 years in a row.
Keep perspective - for your own good.
Santa Catalina island CA
Eaglet died during banding May 28, 2015
Here are 2 forums where people post their reactions
Eaglet died during banding May 28, 2015
We are sorry to report that the bald eagle chick died shortly after biologists retrieved the bird from the nest to be banded. The bird was not showing any signs of stress, when it hung its head and died while being held by Dr. Sharpe. This is the only death that has ever occurred during a nest visit and banding. Sometimes there are pre-existing congenita.
Here is a link to the cam discussion if you would like to offer condolences to those who loved this eaglet:
Eagleholic Talk forum
Bald eagle chick dies during nest visit on Catalina Island
California Channel Islands
Tragic loss of an eaglet during banding
Sadly, the eaglet died in the arms of the biologist during banding moments after being removed from nest.