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Dead eagle found in Ferrisburgh prompts concerns from birders

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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FERRISBURGH, Vt. (WCAX) - A dead eagle found in Ferrisburgh is causing concern in the birding community.

The bird is thought to be one of a nested pair on Hawkins Road, a popular duo introduced to the wild in 2016.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife says they can’t be sure how the bird died. When they found the carcass, it was too decomposed to test. But experts point to possible avian influenza or bird flu.

Avian influenza has been going around Vermont, proving fatal for lots of fowl.

Two bald eagles were found dead last month as a result of the virus, so bald eagles are not immune.

Fish and Wildlife says they’re uncertain if eagles are more susceptible to catching the disease or if people are simply more inclined to call in a dead eagle.

While this is a bummer for bird watchers, the real concern lies around the possible spread to home flocks.

“The real more serious concern is with domestic poultry. So people who have domestic poultry should be taking precautions around biosecurity, isolating their flocks from other flocks, or cross-contamination of equipment, or wild birds themselves,” said Doug Morin of the Vt. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Any and all unexpected deaths of domestic birds should be forwarded to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

As for the bald eagles, they were just removed from the state endangered species list in February, and at any given time, there are more than 100 bald eagles flying around Vermont.

Fish and Wildlife says they do not believe this death is a cause for concern about re-endangerment, but they’re watching.

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