As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Here's What Killed 13 Bald Eagles ... and Their Raccoon Dinner

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | June 22, 2018 09:23am ET
Wildlife experts have partially solved a murder mystery regarding the deaths of 13 bald eagles, but they still don't know who did it.
The 13 eagles — including some so young, they hadn't yet grown their iconic white head feathers — were poisoned with a deadly pesticide known as carbofuran, according to a six-month investigation first reported by Maryland radio station WNAV.
Carbofuran is highly toxic — just one granule of it can kill a small bird, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of liquid carbofuran in food crops in 2009, but many people still likely have aging containers of the pesticide in their sheds, Karyn Bischoff, a toxicologist at Cornell University's Animal Health Diagnostic Center, told The Washington Post. [Photos: Bald Eagles of the Mighty Mississippi]
The 13 dead bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were first discovered by a man looking for deer antlers on Maryland's eastern shore in February 2016. After finding four of the dead birds, the man called the Maryland Natural Resources Police, who later found nine more when they came out to investigate the site in Federalsburg, The Washington Post reported.
The bald eagle is a federally protected bird, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent the following six months investigating the birds' deaths, interviewing more than a dozen landowners and property managers near the scene of the crime. But "there was no smoking gun," John LaCorte, a special agent with the Fish and Wildlife Service, told The Washington Post. "It's very frustrating."
Carbofuran once killed up to 2 million birds each year, according to the EPA. The pellet form of the pesticide, which looks like grain seeds, was banned in the mid-1990s, when bald eagles were still on the endangered species list.

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