A juvenile bald eagle found injured on Independence Day at a Havre de Grace area park had been shot, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police. The wound was crippling enough that regional wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians were forced to euthanize the raptor.
Natural Resources Police have initiated an investigation and are encouraging the public to contact the agency with any tips or information that may provide assistance in the case.
While enjoying a Fourth of July hike at Swan Harbor Farm – a Harford County-owned 500-acre Chesapeake Bay-front park on the Oakington peninsula – visitors from Baltimore County discovered the bird laying in a field off a walking path. The juvenile eagle (which had not yet developed its namesake white plumage on its head) was clearly in distress – wing twisted, panting, and evidently unable to move or fly.
Along with a member of Susquehannock Wildlife Society, the visitors contacted several organizations for assistance, including Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc. and Owl Moon Raptor Center, and kept the eagle cool with water and improvised shade. An officer with the Maryland Natural Resources Police responded to the call and was able to subdue the raptor and cool it down in an air-conditioned car while coming up with a plan to get it to a local wildlife rehabilitation center.
A veterinarian at Second Chance Wildlife Center later assessed the eagle and discovered it had been shot and, among other injuries associated with its crash landing, had a pellet lodged near its spine. After consultation with other regional veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators, the decision was made to humanely euthanize the bald eagle.
Maryland Natural Resources Police began its investigation after learning the eagle had been shot and has asked anyone who may have information relating to this incident to please call (800) 628-9944.
A Realist says
just a few suggestions says
Offer a reward. These idiots will turn in their own mother for enough money for the newest video game, phone or fix. I’m sure they posted the video somewhere.
that’s disappointing to see. remembering my last trip to Havre de Grace where we watched a couple adult bald eagles in the top of a tree for a long while. Obviously alot of eagles in the area due to Conowingo.
Chuck J. Lehman says
Who ever did this should be fined, community service and if legally owning a gun, the permit should be revoked for life. That Eagle is our National Bird.
I really doubt the Eagle was shot with a hand gun, so why would a permit be involved. Permits are only necessary for HAND GUNS and that is so they can be concealed and carried. More than likely this was done with a long gun of some sort, probably a shotgun due to a PELLET being recovered from the Eagle’s body. I will agree that if this person is caught, the person should be tried and once found guilty, should never be allowed to own a firearm again.
Guilty of what? I don’t like Eagles being shot but Eagles are not a protected species. There will have to be so me law they broke.
State and Federal law prohibit shooting Bald Eagles
Sue Tomlinson says
Eagles are still prohibited from being injured or shot. https://www.fws.gov/midwest/Eagle/protect/index.htmlSee:
for the record says
“The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c), enacted in 1940, and amended several times since then, prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from ‘taking’ bald eagles, including their parts, nests, or eggs. The Act provides criminal penalties for persons who ‘take’, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald eagle … [or any golden eagle], alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof. The Act defines ‘take’ as ‘pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.’ “
I WISH I had that Protection …..
Mary Forbes says
You are VERY wrong about that!! Bald eagles are protected by 2 different Federal laws!!! Do our research!! It is against the law to harm one in any way!
I do believe it is a Federal Offense . Shooting an Eagle is not a game
I stand corrected I assumed the only protection that had was under the endangered species act which they don’t qualify for anymore.
Bald Eagles are protected, moron. Google Bald Eagle Act.
No need to name call. Read the post above.
Wow, Janet, you really told him! (more than 12 hours after he admitted his error, and after five others already mentioned it) Your family must be very proud of you.
Legally, You cannot even own a feather from a Bald Eagle.
Harriett Fazio says
Eagles are protected, as are all raptors. They are no longer endangered, but they are protected and it is a crime to shoot them.
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d) is a United States federal statute that protects two species of eagle. The bald eagle was chosen as a national emblem of the United States by the Continental Congress of 1782 and was given legal protection by the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940. This act was expanded to include the golden eagle in 1962. Since the original Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act has been amended several times. It currently prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from “taking” bald eagles. Taking is described to include their parts, nests, or eggs, molesting or disturbing the birds. The Act provides criminal penalties for persons who “take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald eagle … [or any golden eagle], alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof.
Billy Bob says
Is this an echo?
Eagles and especially Bald eagles are a protected species
Dick Nixon says
Hey Wizard of Smart,Bald Eagles ARE a protected species, as are all raptors and birds of prey. Wise up.
There are no “permits”
If they catch the idiot that did this. I doubt they’ll get just a fine and community service. No hand gun shoots pellets. So it most likely was a shotgun. In that matter you don’t need a permit. Either way this is a fucked up thing to do whether it’s our national bird or not. You should never kill an animal unless you plan to eat it. I’m a proud hunter and this is fucking fubar.
It probably was a shotgun, but we cannot rule that out.
Many handguns are capable of shooting pellets. I know that CCI makes various versions of “shot-shell” bullets that have many small pellets instead of one larger round.
Dont think you need a license for a pellet gun i might be wrong
Dick Nixon says
Its a felony offense.
Makes me sick to hear about these type of crimes. Punishments need to be harsher! Idiots who have no respect for a living thing need to be punished to the full extent of the law. Or … an eye for an eye!
The only permit to harvest an Eagle is given to Native Americans for ceremonial wear and those permits are very limited.
The decision was made to not bother the efort to try and save it…It was too much trouble…
No, Dave. I’m sure that if they could have saved this poor young eagle, they would have. Those raptor rehab specialists are very dedicated. All the fault belongs to the careless idiot who shot the bird, probably someone too stupid to realize that bald eagles aren’t bald when they’re young, or maybe just someone who thought it would be “cool” to shoot a bird and get away with it.