Roadside killings of bald eagles baffle many

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Roadside killings of bald eagles baffle many

A news item from Iowa, thanks to Barbara Walker:

There seems to have been so many shootings this year throughout the country.  One of the biologists I was talking to recently made the same observation.  I'll be sending highlights of the national stories I've noticed this year at the end of the season which isn't far off!  Only one month from now.  Well, I sure hope they catch whoever is doing this in Iowa.


Roadside killings of bald eagles baffle many

By TOM ALEX • • April 15, 2010

Comments (38)

Moulton, Ia. — State and local law enforcement officials are searching for one or more people who have shot and killed four bald eagles, a red-tailed hawk and more than 12 deer near the Davis County towns of Moulton and Mark.

Eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which makes it illegal to wound, kill or capture the birds.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources put out a bulletin in mid-March saying conservation officers were seeking the public's help in catching the people who killed an eagle in southwest Davis County. An eagle was shot from a gravel road while it was feeding on the carcass of a deer.

A second eagle was shot and killed while feeding on a deer carcass and two others were shot and killed while in cottonwood trees, said Bob Stuchel, a state conservation officer.

While conservation officers were investigating the eagle shootings, they kept receiving reports of rotting deer carcasses.

Diane Porter of Fairfield, who helps maintain the Web site, said it's hard to understand why anyone would kill an eagle. "It's an abomination," she said.

Conservation officers haven't come up with a motive either, unless the shootings were for entertainment.

"I think they just went around and shot whatever was there," Stuchel said. "I don't think there was a reason. They just wanted to shoot them. When they came back and eagles were feeding on the deer carcasses, they shot them too."

He said most of the eagles were shot from the road, probably from a vehicle.

No arrests have been made, but Stuchel said officials are still receiving names of potential suspects.

"These are the type of cases where we really rely on the public," said Kevin Baskins, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "We can put a lot of it together, but sometimes it's that last piece that makes a case."

A person found guilty of killing a bald eagle faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for a first offense. A second offense is a felony.