Dead Bald Eagles Sent to West Coast for Testing - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dead Bald Eagles Sent to West Coast for Testing

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Dead eagle in Federalsburg (Photo: Glenn Breeding) Dead eagle in Federalsburg (Photo: Glenn Breeding)
Dead eagle in Federalsburg. (Photo: Glenn Breeding) Dead eagle in Federalsburg. (Photo: Glenn Breeding)
Dead eagle in Federalsburg. (Photo: Glenn Breeding) Dead eagle in Federalsburg. (Photo: Glenn Breeding)

FEDERALSBURG, Md. - The 13 bald eagles found dead in Caroline County over the weekend have been sent to the West Coast so investigators can perform necropsies on the birds.

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told WBOC the eagles were sent to the forensics laboratory in Ashland, Oregon on Monday night. It is the only laboratory in the world dedicated to crimes against wildlife.  At the lab, a necropsy will be performed on each eagles but there is no timetable on how soon those tests will be complete.  Fish and Wildlife officials said it could be several days before anything definitive is known about the mysterious deaths of the eagles.

The 13 eagles were discovered Saturday on a Federalsburg farm on Laurel Grove Road.  The farm's owner, Bob Edgell, found four of the eagles in the early afternoon.  He returned home and left a message for the Maryland Natural Resources Police.  Later in the day, Glenn Breeding was checking the land for deer antlers and came across the birds as well.  Tuesday, he descried the experience to WBOC.

"I don't know at all," Breeding said.  "I was amazed, you know?  What happened?  What could have happened?"

Breeding called DNR police as well and helped kick off the investigation.  Investigators from Fish and Wildlife were at the Federalsburg farm on Monday combing the wooded area for clues about the birds' death.  Investigators were not back on the scene Tuesday, but Breeding said he is anxious to find out what happened to the 13 eagles.

"Hopefully it was a disease.  I hope somebody didn't intentionally kill them or put something out to kill them.  They're America's bird.  That's what you think of when you see them."

Breeding said when he came across the birds on Saturday, they did not appear to have any physical trauma or signs of distress.  Breeding explained it appeared the eagles had simply dropped out of the trees and died.

Fish and Wildlife officials said investigators are considering all options, including these deaths being caused by humans.  Officials said  a $10,000 reward is being offered to encourage someone to come forward who has information about these deaths, whether caused directly, or indirectly, by people in Caroline County.

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