State officials on Sunday confirmed that a bald eagle that died in March in Middlesex County had succumbed to poisoning, after the bird ingested a toxic substance meant to kill vermin, the first time such a fatality has been reported in Massachusetts. The state MassWildlife agency provided the information in a statement.
“MassWildlife officials recently confirmed that a bald eagle that died in March was the victim of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) poisoning,” the statement said. “While mortalities in bald eagles due to anticoagulant rodenticides have been documented in other states, this is the first confirmed case in Massachusetts.”
According to the statement, observers in mid-March saw the eagle acting strangely at a nest located along the Charles River. “Unfortunately, within a day, the bird had died on its nest,” the statement said. “MassWildlife officials retrieved the eagle and transported it to Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University where a necropsy was performed. Toxicology testing of a liver sample was performed with the assistance of the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative.”