A three-month-old bald eagle known as "D12" was electrocuted in Decorah, Iowa in a world-famous nest that attracts many spectators each year, the Raptor Resource Project said on Tuesday.
"It was very probably electrocuted," director of the Raptor Resource Project Bob Anderson told The Gazette. He said this is the first known death of the 14 young eagles in the Decorah nest, for which the Project operates a Webcam live stream, the "Decorah Eagle Cam," on the Internet.
"We are very sorry to announce that D12 is dead," the statement read. "D12 was found electrocuted at the base of a power pole on a Sunday morning. We notified the power company, who modified the top of that pole on Sunday and several other poles in the area on Monday. As of this morning, they are continuing to identify and modify poles to make them raptor safe."
Anderson said one of D12's siblings who have recently just fledged, D14, was not injured and is doing fine. D12 was born on March 27.
The Raptor Resource Project said the pole that electrocuted the bald eagle along with others in the area like it has been modified by installing a temporary insulation shield on the pole to prevent further incidents.
In addition to the announcement that the bald eagle was electrocuted, Raptor Resource Project provided guidelines for onlookers who find birds zapped.
"If you find an electrocuted raptor or other bird by a pole, take it to the nearest wildlife center (if it is still alive) and contact your state DNR or local game warden and the utility company that owns the pole," RRP said.
According to the Project, shielded power lines are not dangerous for wildlife nor are many new power poles which follow standards listed in The Avian Protection Plan Guidelines. However, unshielded poles and older power poles are not safe for birds including bald eagles and can be hazardous to wildlife.
"Older poles may have been installed either before people were aware of electrocution hazards to wildlife, or during the decline of raptor populations in America, when interaction was less likely."
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