Monday, January 05, 2009

Eagle Poisoned at a Landfill

According to a Virginia newspaper (via), a young bald eagle was recently rehabilitated and released after being poisoned from scavenging at a garbage dump.

According to reports, the bird had fallen so ill that his could not fly, stand or even lift his head. When approached by worried onlookers, the bird did not resist being handled – another sign something is wrong.

The bird was taken to the Midway Veterinary Hospital in Chesapeake, and was then sent to the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro. For two days, staff members tested, observed and treated the sickly eagle before deciding he was getting strong enough for release.
I am not particularly surprised at this story – either that a young eagle was scavenging at a landfill or that it was poisoned as a result. Bald eagles are opportunists and will take meals however they can, whether that means hunting on their own, stealing prey from other birds, or scavenging. What would be interesting to know is the reason for the poisoning. Was this the result of spoiled food? Or was the eagle poisoned by contaminants within the landfill? I could see either as a possibility.