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NRP Seeking Information on Killing of Two Bald Eagles

Maryland Natural Resource Police logoMaryland Natural Resources Police investigators are seeking information about the killing of two bald eagles in Montgomery County during the holiday season.

An eagle was shot with a rifle at about 3 p.m. on Christmas Day in a field that adjoins Georgia   Avenue and Bordly Drive in Brookeville. The bird was feeding on a deer carcass at the time of the incident.

On Saturday morning, a mature eagle was found near a residence on Deakins Lane in Darnestown. The bird was alive but later died of its injuries. An x-ray revealed it had been hit by bird shot.

Bald eagles are in their active courtship period right now. Eagles along the upper Chesapeake Bay and inland lay eggs in late February or early March that hatch in April.

In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act, and Maryland followed suit in 2010. But it is illegal to shoot eagles without a permit from the U.S. Department of the Interior. A conviction carries a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to a one year in prison.

Maryland has more than 500 nesting pairs of bald eagles, at least one pair in every county.

Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call the Department of Natural Resources Communications Center, 410-260-8888, or they can remain anonymous on the catch-a-poacher hotline at 1-800-635-6124, where a reward is possible.