The bald eagle electrocuted in Iowa was part of The Raptor Resource Project’s Decorah Eagle Cam, which allowed people to watch the birth of several eaglets courtesy of their web browsers. Sadly, one of the babies, D12, was electrocuted and killed by an electrical pole shortly after leaving the nest for the very first time.
“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,” the RRP announced with a heavy heart. “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.”
However, according to Alliant Energy’s Justin Foss, the utility pole in-question was equipped with an animal shield at the time of the eagle’s electrocution. As a precaution, the company put another cover over the pole to prevent any further incidents from taking place. On Monday, crews showed up to address the safety concerns by re-engineering the guard to make it safer for birds and animals.
Although there’s no doubt that the utility pole played a significant role in D12’s death, The Raptor Resource Project did reiterate that electrical poles themselves generally do not pose a threat to wildlife. However, the organization added, “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.”
For more information, stop by the RRP’s official Facebook page.