Decorah Eaglet Found Electrocuted

Decorah eagle D12, as seen June 10. (image via Raptor Resource Project Facebook page)

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By Aaron Hepker

DECORAH, Iowa - An eaglet hatched in Decorah in 2012, as chronicled by The Raptor Resource Project’s Eagle Cam, has been found electrocuted, according to a post on the RRP’s Facebook page.

The eaglet, dubbed “D12,” was found at the base of a power pole Sunday morning, according to the post. The power company was notified of the death and has made modifications to the pole, and several others in the area, to prevent similar electrocutions in the future.

Here’s the full post from the RRP:

We are very sorry to announce that D12 is dead. 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. 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. You will need to:

1. Provide information about the dead or injured bird.
2. Identify the nearest pole to the electrocuted raptor by the pole identification number (on the pole itself) and local landmarks such as cross streets or street addresses (if applicable).

Include as many specifics as you can regarding the species and the incident. If possible, take photographs of the raptor and the pole to submit with your reports and notes.

Power lines themselves are not an electrocution hazard for birds (birds can and do sit on wires), but unshielded poles can be dangerous. The Avian Protection Plan Guidelines include information on raptor safe poles and modification of existing poles. New structures are fairly safe, but older poles may not be. 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.

Again, we are very sorry to announce the death of D12. This pole and others like it in the area have been modified to prevent future electrocutions.

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