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Investigators want to know who abused bald eagle in Michigan

July 18, 2006

State wildlife investigators are trying to solve the mystery of what happened to a mature bald eagle found two weeks ago in a field in the Upper Peninsula with clipped flight and tail feathers. And its characteristic white head had been spray-painted brown, as if to disguise the fact that the bird was an eagle.

When the eagle was found, it was weak and emaciated because it hadn’t eaten in days. It couldn’t fly and could only hop a few feet.

“When we got it, it kind of hung its head like it was depressed," said Randy Bruntjens, who runs the Upper Peninsula Raptor Rehab center from his home. “It was abused. It’s a total disgrace."

Bald eagles are protected by state and federal laws and no one is allowed to possess them without a special permit. The eagle wore a leg band which will eventually tell investigators where its nest was, which might help them figure out who captured the bird.

There is a $1,200 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who captured the bird, and that person could face fines and prison time.

You can read the rest at The Detroit Free Press.