Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sad News for Eagle Watchers

This year I became enthralled by the nest-cam in Decorah, Iowa, that watched a clutch of American Bald Eagles from egg-laying to fledging.  I learned that last year the Raptor Resource Center that runs this project had put a transmitter on one of the babies and I checked periodically to see her progress on their map.

This year, the first baby eagle (D12) died from electrocution on a power pole near the nest soon after fledging.  It was shocking because of the suddenness, but also because it was a bird that I "knew."  The team posted about electrical poles' danger to birds, especially large raptors.  With their large wingspan, there's more chance of a bald eagle being electrocuted.  A group inspired by D12's passing worked to make poles in the area safer for the fledglings.

Last week another of the clutch was found dead from electrocution:  D14 had been equipped with a transmitter and was being tracked like his older sister.  He was found in Iowa at the foot of an electrical pole.

The sad blog post is here:

The previous year an eagle (D1) was fitted with a transmitter, and she has returned to her natal home after summering in Canada.  Her survival seems even more miraculous fortuitous after seeing what happened to two of the three eaglets from this year's nest.

A raptor-safe power pole is amazingly simple to make.  I hope more people will be inspired by this new tragedy to make their area poles safe:


State of Florida said...

That is so sad! We have lots of bald eagles where I live, they are exciting to watch. There's plenty of tall trees here, so they put their nests in trees and sometimes perch on tall streetlamps. They're very attentive parents. But it's super gross when they drop their mangled prey in the middle of the sidewalk.

LadyAtheist said...

*lol* about their prey. On the nestcam you can see them rip apart their prey. Sometimes it's rather disgusting. In the Decorah nest, mama has dibs on fish eyes. Once she's chowed down the eyes, she'll share the fish with the babies.

krissthesexyatheist said...

I heart the wildlife cams. Recently I've been keeping tabs on the baby pandas at (I think) the SD zoo (not the one that died in DC). Before this I've enjoyed bird cams in SF (like when a family starts at, like, City Hall, the Golden Gate bridge or something) and the occasional wilderness cam. Whatever...I forgot what my point was. that's pretty awesome. Kee pwarm homie,


Infidel753 said...

Good grief, if this is typical of the infant-mortality rate from power poles, it's no wonder they're an endangered species.

LadyAtheist said...

They're off the endangered species list officially, but apparently they are indeed endangered!