State and federal authorities in Maryland are investigating the poisoning of several Bald Eagles and a Great Horned Owl in the state’s eastern shore area.
Authorities suspect that people are placing baits lined with carbofuran, a toxic carbamate pesticide, in fields and even in fox dens. Carbofuran, also known as Furadan, is known to be particularly toxic to birds, and in its granular form, a single grain can kill a bird, according to a release on Maryland’s website.
The first incident took place on March 1 in Kent County, when six Bald Eagles and a Great Horned Owl were found dead, and numerous other eagles had significant injuries, the release said. Since the incident, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Maryland Natural Resources officers have found several more eagle carcasses in the area, the release said.
On April 3 authorities responded to a call in Talbot County, where three eagles were feeding on red fox carcass and showed signs of poisoning. Two of the eagles were treated and are in stable condition, and the third died at the scene, the release said.
The release from the state added that the birds are probably not the target of the poisoning, but are rather unintended victims of the intentional poisoning of raccoons, foxes, and other so-called nuisance animals.
To encourage the public’s help, the USFWS is offering a $10,000 reward for information that furthers the investigation, the release said.