Bald Eagle shot in Illinois - CPO's are looking for help

Bald Eagle shot in Illinois - CPO's are looking for help
Photo is courtesy of the Illinois Raptor Center

The information below was received from Chris Young of the IL DNR.

Unfortunately some have no respect for nature. If you have any information regarding the crime reported here, please assist the IL DNR Conservation Police.

Illinois Conservation Police are seeking information about the person or persons responsible for the shooting death of a female adult bald eagle in rural McLean County.

Conservation Police responded to a call Saturday, March 14 about an eagle in a farm field.

The eagle was captured, by officers, and transported to the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur for treatment.

An examination conducted by Raptor Center personnel determined the eagle’s injuries were caused by a gunshot. Despite receiving emergency medical treatment, the eagle died.

During its examination, a brood patch – an area of featherless skin on the bird’s underside - was discovered on the female eagle. Experts confirmed eagles are currently nesting and commonly have 2-3 eggs. The presence of a brood patch, on the dead eagle, indicates she had a nest likely containing eggs. The eggs will not hatch without care.

Eagles are federally protected under The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A violation of the Act can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year, or both, for a first offense.

The Illinois Conservation Police are conducting an investigation.

If you have information about the shooting, contact Crime Stopper in McLean County. Crime Stoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of people who commit felony crimes in McLean County. Call 309-828-1111.

The attached photo is courtesy of the Illinois Raptor Center.

Many people don't realize that we have many bald eagles here in Illinois. Some have been seen year round, but most are migrators from the north and come here for the winter months. Starved Rock State Park is one place where many wintering bald eagles can be seen on Plum Island. A great view is from either the Visitor's Center or the Veranda at the Starved Rock Lodge.

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