A bald eagle was recently found dead near the Island Country Club (ICC) on Marco Island. According to Carl Way, chairman of the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary, the cause of death has not yet been determined.
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Eagle National Repository will create a final report,” he said.
Originally it was believed that the deceased bird was one of the two eagles that have been seen nesting on the ICC golf course. However, according to ICC General Manager Bid Bakkar, golfers on the course viewed the familiar eagle pair after the reported eagle death. It is likely that the deceased eagle came from elsewhere.
In a public Facebook post yesterday the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary reassured islanders that bald eagles Paleo and Calusa are alive and well. The statement read:
“We are saddened to learn that a bald eagle was found dead recently near the Marco Island Country Club. This was NOT one of the eagles that live on the Marco Island Nature Preserve. Paleo and Calusa are both well. We were alerted to this in the last day or so and thought we should share this unfortunate news with our followers. FWC is aware of this event.”
The carcass of the eagle will be sent to the Eagle National Repository in Denver, Colorado for further examination. There, the Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine if the eagle came from a federally registered nest. Once the repository has completed the investigation, parts of the eagle (including feathers and talons) will be distributed to federally permitted Native American tribes. Many native tribes have long used eagle feathers for cultural purposes as well as religious traditions.
Bald eagles are protected federally under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). It is illegal for anyone who is not a law enforcement officer to collect or possess live or dead eagles or other migratory birds.
If you encounter a dead or injured eagle the FWC asks that you contact the FWC OLE Department at 888-404-3922. Please do not attempt to pick up the bird or take any of its parts (feathers, talons, etc.). This is prohibited under BGEPA and MBTA.
Coastal Breeze News will update this story as more information comes in.