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January 13, 2008

Bummer of a Story

Awww, man.

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — At least 19 bald eagles died Friday after gorging themselves on a truck full of fish waste outside a processing plant.

Fifty or more eagles swarmed into the truck, whose retractable fabric cover was open, after the truck was moved outside the plant, said Brandon Saito, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who coordinated the recovery operation.

The birds became too soiled to fly or clean themselves, and with temperatures in the mid-teens, began to succumb to the cold. Some birds became so weak they sank into the fish slime and were crushed.

The surviving birds were cleaned off and sheltered in a warm area.

I know they are common in other parts of the country, but they've only just recently returned to the upper Connecticut River Valley. In Winter they fly out closer to the ocean and perch all day, moving as little as possible to conserve energy. It's a tough time of year to be an Eagle.

There's a nesting pair quite close to our house, and the impressively large male suddenly buzzed low through my yard while I was gardening a few Summers back.

Having never seen a bird that big so close before, it almost stopped my heart.

Anyway, sad story. Glad somebody cared enough to get Fish & Wildlife out there and save as many as they could.


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posted by LauraW. at 01:49 PM

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