State environmental officials are trying to figure out what caused the deaths of four bald eagles in and around Dagsboro Saturday morning.
One eagle was found dead in Dagsboro and three more eagles died after rescue attempts by workers at Tri-State Bird Rescue were unsuccessful. The birds were among a group of eagles that were found disoriented in a field in the Piney Neck area near Dagsboro in Sussex County. Another three birds in that group flew away before rescuers could evaluate their condition.
Fish and WIldlife Natural Resources Police Sgt. John McDerby said are looking for help from anyone who may have seen the birds on the ground Saturday morning. “We don’t know how many eagles may have been affected, so we are asking the public to notify us immediately should they see birds that appear sick,” McDerby said.
Five other eagles in the flock were taken to Tri-State Bird Rescue’s facility in Newark for treatment. Two remain under care.
“This is an active investigation and we do not know what has caused the eagles to become sick and die,” McDerby said. “We’re also asking people not to attempt to capture or handle eagles they encounter on the ground.” Instead, McDerby said anyone who sees an injured eagle should call Fish and Wildlife Police at 1-800-523-3336. Anyone with information on the dead eagles can call the 24-hour Operation Game Theft hotline at 1-800-292-3030.
This is not the first group of ailing eagles to be found in recent weeks. A group of 13 bald eagles was found dead on Feb. 20 near Federalsburg, Md. Last week, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife lab determined that those eagles did not die of natural causes. They are now offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who can lead investigators to the culprits behind the deaths of those birds in Maryland.