The death of a record breaking number of birds in Maryland is now under investigation, and it’s not just any bird — 13 bald eagles were found dead on a farm.
A local man discovered them on Saturday while out looking for deer antlers, and at first glance thought it was a turkey. After realizing what it was he looked around and found three more, at which point he called Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP).
NRP spokeswoman Candy Thomson told reporters “Our officers searched the area around the farm field and the nearby woods, at that point we came up with nine more bald eagles for a of total of 13.”
Americans are horrified.
There are no outward signs of trauma, leaving officers unsure of the cause of death. The current theory is that local farmers poisoned rodents which were then eaten by the eagles. The bodies have been sent to a facility in Oregon for investigation.
“The people in this lab do amazing work … they’ve pulled feathers from the birds who bring down planes and they can tell what they had for breakfast,” Thompson said.
There is also a $10,000 reward being offered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to anyone willing to come forward with information about the deaths of the 13 bald eagles, up from the original $2,500 offered by Baltimore County.
American bald eagles are no longer considered endangered, but are still protected under federal law.