The eagle has landed – on chickens and rare birds, with talons at the ready.
The resurgence of the bald eagle is one of America’s greatest conservation success stories. They have come back so strong that in some areas they are interfering with efforts to preserve more jeopardized species, such as loons and cormorants, wildlife biologists say. And their proliferation is leading to encounters at livestock farms that sometimes end badly – and illegally – for the eagles.
Federal protections mean farmers can do little to keep them away, said Ken Klippen, a poultry scientist and former farmer who heads the National Association of Egg Farmers.
“It’s a fully protected bird. If you have foxes, coyotes, raccoons, a farmer can do something about that,” he said. “But if it’s a bald eagle? His hands are tied.”