Reward offered for shooting of Delaware Bald Eagle

CLAYTON, MD, February 2, 2024 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced a reward today of up to $2,500 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the illegal shooting of a bald eagle near Clayton, Maryland.Details of the Incident:

  • On the morning of November 9, 2023, an injured adult bald eagle was discovered at the Blackbird State Forest Dulany Manor Tract, located west of Clayton, Maryland.
  • Attempts to rehabilitate the injured eagle by Tri-State Bird Rescue were unsuccessful, resulting in the bird’s death.
  • Examination of the carcass revealed gunshot wounds to the neck and wing, confirmed by the presence of bullet fragments.

Investigation and Reward:

  • The USFWS is actively investigating this incident and urges anyone with information regarding the shooting to contact Special Agent Brian Ricardi at (410) 228-2476 or 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).
  • All calls will be treated confidentially, and the reward is available for information leading to a conviction in this case.

Bald Eagle Protection:

  • The bald eagle holds significant cultural and ecological value in the United States. Its population faced steep decline, reaching a critical low of 417 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states in 1963. Conservation efforts led to a remarkable comeback, with over 5,000 breeding pairs documented by 1997.
  • The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 strictly prohibits the harming or taking of bald eagles, including their parts, feathers, nests, or eggs, without a permit. Violators face penalties of up to $100,000 in fines and one year imprisonment for a first offense.

The USFWS emphasizes the importance of protecting bald eagles and encourages the public to report any suspected violations. By working together, we can ensure the continued recovery and success of this iconic species.