January 27

Maine bald eagle dies of lead poisoning

The sick 18-year-old eagle was spotted by an ice fisherman in Wilton on Jan. 19.

The Associated Press

WILTON — Wildlife officials say a bald eagle that had been seen hunting around Wilson Lake in Wilton for several years has died of lead poisoning.

The sick 18-year-old eagle was spotted by an ice fisherman on Jan. 19.

He alerted game wardens, who picked up the grounded raptor and brought it to Avian Haven, a wild bird rehabilitation center in Freedom. It died there two days later.

Diane Winn of Avian Haven tells the Sun Journal that X-rays showed a metal fragment in the eagle’s intestinal tract, and blood tests showed high lead levels.

She says the metal appears to be a piece of spent ammunition, perhaps ingested when the eagle fed on a carcass left by a hunter. It does not appear to be a fishing weight.

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