18 June 2015

The oldest bald eagle in the United States has died

At age 38!
A 38-year-old, Minnesota-born bald eagle — the oldest on record in the nation — has been killed by a vehicle in New York state.

The male eagle was captured as a chick in 1977 at Puposky Lake near Bemidji and transplanted to New York with three other eagle chicks as part of a national restoration effort. The young eagles were banded, and officials found No. 03142 earlier this month alongside a road, killed by a vehicle. Records show it was the oldest banded bald eagle recovered in the nation — by five years.

The eagle’s 38-year lifespan was remarkable, said Carrol Henderson, longtime head of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources nongame wildlife program. “I would never guess they would last that long,” he said. “Anything over 20 years would be considered old.”...

Minnesota had perhaps 600 to 800 bald eagles in 1977, Henderson said, and officials believed then that they could spare five chicks a year to contribute to restoration efforts elsewhere. Today, Minnesota has more than 10,000 bald eagles, more than any other state in the Lower 48.
I see them quite routinely when I go up north to Leech Lake.

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