The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting a federally protected bald eagle sometime around Christmas in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are jointly investigating this incident and seek information related to the shooting.
To provide information on this killing, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent at (270) 252-7336, or Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Evan Ethington at (270) 890-3300.
Ethington found the carcass of a mature bald eagle alongside Paradise Road in Grand Rivers Jan. 8, 2016. Investigators believe the shooting occurred sometime between Dec. 25, 2015, and Jan. 2, 2016.
Grand Rivers is located between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in the western end of the state. The region supports Kentucky's most concentrated population of eagles.
Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Killing or harming a bird carries maximum penalties of up to $100,000 in fines and one year in prison.
Bald eagles take four to five years to mature, but many do not start breeding until they are much older. Bald eagles may live 15-25 years in the wild. They are opportunistic feeders with fish comprising most of their diet and are found around rivers and lakes. Bald eagles historically occurred from Mexico to Alaska.