D25 found dead
We are sorry to let everyone know that Brett and his assistants found D25 dead alongside a road between Maynard and Westgate, IA. He was likely scavenging a raccoon carcass when he was struck and killed by a vehicle. His body will be sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI for a necropsy. All of us find it heartbreaking to lose another eagle. It is one thing to know that first-year bald eagles have high mortality rates and another to see it reflected in the lives of eagles we have come to know and love.
We have tracked six eagles to date: D1, D14, Four, Indy, D24, and D25. All six grew up in a world heavily impacted by human beings. The fish hatchery provided an excellent source of food, shredded cornstalks provided insulation for the nest, and light and electrical poles provided perches for fledgling eagles just learning their wings. But poles also present electrocution hazards; powerlines, cars, and buildings present collision hazards, and everything from gutpiles to landfills to confined feedlots present a route for potential toxins that can maim or kill scavengers. I want to believe that we are making headway in reducing electrocution, poisoning, and collision deaths. Certainly, bald eagles as a species are thriving. But it still hurts to lose an eagle we know.
The photo of D25 making an early morning takeoff was taken by David Lynch at 5:40AM on June 28, 2016.