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Seven Bald Eagles Near Death After Eating Dead Horses

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  • #21
    Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
    Bald eagles are opportunistic scavengers -- in fact, I've always thought it quite amusing that they became our national bird as they prefer to either (a) eat trash or (b) beat up other birds and take their food. Oh, biological irony...
    .
    We've got plenty of 'em around here and one way the game dept monitors them is by using deer carcasses to attract them. A landowner can volunteer to have his land baited with carcasses and help with monitoring.

    I had a deer carcass in my front yard (it had been hit by a car and I was going to move it with the tractor after I ran some errands). I came home and walked out to the yard to find a Bald Eagle aggressively defending his dinner from some very perturbed Turkey Vultures.

    It was a sight I will never forget - I'd never been that close to an Eagle before and I doubt I ever will again. They are even more impressive up close.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

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    • #22
      Originally posted by hoopoe View Post
      what about the vet who contributed to this debacle

      As a Washington resident and a worker for the environment as my volunteer avocation this totally infuriates me.
      What the fruitbat? "What about the vet?"?? It's not the vet's job to bury horses. No vet I've known sticks around until the backhoe gets there, and they most certainly aren't required to. Owner says they'll take care of it and you want the vet to drive back onto the property, uninvited, to inspect? You have a strange idea of what doctors do.

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      • #23
        This thread is another strong point in favor of euthanization of large animals via correctly placed gunshot. Probably the strongest point that can be made.

        There is no such thing anymore as "away", as in "Throw that away." There are too many of us messy slobtastic humans. We have to start acting as if we understand that. The planet has exactly zero need of more poison spread around.
        I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
        I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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        • #24
          Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
          Bald eagles are opportunistic scavengers -- in fact, I've always thought it quite amusing that they became our national bird as they prefer to either (a) eat trash or (b) beat up other birds and take their food. Oh, biological irony...
          Thank you wildlifer, opportunistic scavenger it is... as in anything it wants and can get in it's mouth.

          Initially, the founding fathers wanted the Turkey (the wild ones, not the modern domestic ginormous breasts that can't walk) as our national bird-perhaps the Bald Eagle got the better press agent at the time? Then again, it is a superior predator and men like that sort of stuff.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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          • #25
            They are definitely impressive, JSwan! Several pairs lived on the farm where I used to keep my horses -- when munching on whatever dead thing they found, they glared at us with much disdain and did not bother to fly off when we rode by. Creeped the horses out, LOL. I guess that's why they are so good at snack stealing; the mafia roughnecks of the predatory bird world.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
            We Are Flying Solo

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            • #26
              Originally posted by findeight View Post
              Initially, the founding fathers wanted the Turkey (the wild ones, not the modern domestic ginormous breasts that can't walk) as our national bird-perhaps the Bald Eagle got the better press agent at the time? Then again, it is a superior predator and men like that sort of stuff.
              Haha, we co-posted. Yes, Benjamin Franklin championed the turkey because they are very intelligent, often live in complex family groups, and up close, are remarkably beautiful birds. But he got outvoted by all the folks who thought the trash-eater was more majestic looking. Even funnier -- when a bald eagle is shown on TV, they usually dub over its call with a red-tailed hawk's scream, because the eagle's call is a rather unmajestic squawk.
              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
              We Are Flying Solo

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              • #27
                I always found the Condor the most impressive-until you get up close. Man that's one ugly bird, stink too if they have recently fed. But in flight? Majestic is an understatement.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                  They are definitely impressive, JSwan! Several pairs lived on the farm where I used to keep my horses -- when munching on whatever dead thing they found, they glared at us with much disdain and did not bother to fly off when we rode by. Creeped the horses out, LOL. I guess that's why they are so good at snack stealing; the mafia roughnecks of the predatory bird world.
                  We have one of our caprock canyons called "Eagle Canyon" because they raise there every year.
                  It is not uncommon to see eagles flying high up, watching buzzards hunt for handy meals and when they are onto something, run the buzzards off their finds and get them a free meal.

                  I still think Benjamin Franklin was right when he wanted to make the turkeys the national bird, not the eagle, but the aristocratic symbol, not the plain one, won.
                  Eagles are the kings of the air.

                  Guess several of us were on the same though track with the turkeys.

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                  • #29
                    I've seen an eagle steal fish from osprey as well.
                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      I always found the Condor the most impressive-until you get up close. Man that's one ugly bird, stink too if they have recently fed. But in flight? Majestic is an understatement.
                      Don't know about condors, but our turkey vultures, buzzards, soar on the thermal wind currents along the edges of the canyons, high up and are wonderful to watch.

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                      • #31
                        The owner is either an ignorant idiot, or a cheap skate idiot. As someone who has had three horses euthanized in the last few years (the last one a year ago) for various reasons, I can assure you the three different vets who performed the service did not discuss removal or burial with me. Had I asked, I'm absolutely sure they'd have offered suggestions or advice. The horse last year was arranged by the owner (not me) and apparently her vet offers a service that includes a coordinated appointment with the renderer. That is the only time I've ever heard of a vet "incahoots" with the disposal service.

                        I think this incident points to the need for folks who would offer a service of humane death by bullet. No wildlife is harmed by scavenging a drug-free carcass. The repercussions of our modern culture are indeed wide-ranging. Perhaps the horse owner never even thought of the results of leaving a carcass full of such powerful drugs? Ignorance, however, is not excuse for this.
                        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                        • #32
                          According to a friend of mine who called the vet out to attend a mare who turned out to have a broken scapula, once he involved the vet he couldn't shoot the horse, he had to have the vet use the poisonous solution. I don't understand why he couldn't send the vet off and then euth by gunshot, but that is the story.
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                            The owner is either an ignorant idiot, or a cheap skate idiot. As someone who has had three horses euthanized in the last few years (the last one a year ago) for various reasons, I can assure you the three different vets who performed the service did not discuss removal or burial with me. Had I asked, I'm absolutely sure they'd have offered suggestions or advice. The horse last year was arranged by the owner (not me) and apparently her vet offers a service that includes a coordinated appointment with the renderer. That is the only time I've ever heard of a vet "incahoots" with the disposal service.

                            I think this incident points to the need for folks who would offer a service of humane death by bullet. No wildlife is harmed by scavenging a drug-free carcass. The repercussions of our modern culture are indeed wide-ranging. Perhaps the horse owner never even thought of the results of leaving a carcass full of such powerful drugs? Ignorance, however, is not excuse for this.
                            One of the vets in our clinic, that I have known since he was a kid following the vet around, came last fall to euthanize our old ranch horse, that was having trouble getting up and down.

                            He knows I know what to do, he asked about disposal and I am sure he would have made suggestions if I had said I just drag him to the bone pile.
                            That is a big no-no with a chemically euthanized animal of any kind and I don't know anyone today that doesn't know that.

                            By the way, euthanizing solutions generally are not poisons in themselves, but an overdose of drugs that are used for other purposes and yes, as so many such drugs, an overdose can be fatal and for euthanizing, it is used so it is lethal.

                            Now, I don't know who that owner of those two horses was, but I expect it is going to learn in a hurry the consequences of not disposing quickly of euthanized animals.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by hoopoe View Post
                              No one established that the vet made effort to inform the owner

                              until then, vet is , in part responsible.
                              what??! I guess I forgot about that fundamental judicial concept that you are guilty until proven innocent.

                              When your own doctor prescribes medicines that say not to drive, operate machinery or take alcohol-- should she follow up to make sure you're not doing any of those things?

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                According to a friend of mine who called the vet out to attend a mare who turned out to have a broken scapula, once he involved the vet he couldn't shoot the horse, he had to have the vet use the poisonous solution. I don't understand why he couldn't send the vet off and then euth by gunshot, but that is the story.
                                That seems strange because gun shot is considered an acceptable way to put down a horse.

                                I wonder if it was simply the policy of that vet.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                  That seems strange because gun shot is considered an acceptable way to put down a horse.

                                  I wonder if it was simply the policy of that vet.
                                  I have heard that SPCA prohibits the knacker here and there to shoot the animals...I would not at all be surprised that somewhere in town there is such a regulation, deeming it 'inhumane' or a blantant act of miscommunication, whether accidental or on purpose.


                                  But yeah: you cannot leave 1200 pounds of contaminated carcass laying arounf for any period of time....

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                    That seems strange because gun shot is considered an acceptable way to put down a horse.

                                    I wonder if it was simply the policy of that vet.
                                    We had a broodmare break her shoulder and the vet told me to shoot her, with him standing there, as the best for her.

                                    It seems strange that a vet would say not to, unless the mare's situation demanded that, just as in ours, where a shot was best, according to the attending vet.

                                    Why did he not shoot her himself?
                                    Because he said I knew my rifle best and that is safest, but if I didn't want to, he would have shoot her with my gun, he didn't have his on hand.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      In my 10 years in Washington living on the same 110-acre farm, there have been quite a few horse fatalities. Some were shot, and moved to the furthest field which we affectionately named Coyote Cafe. However my landlord hays out there and was having trouble with bones in the baler. He designated a closer horse pasture as the new burial ground and since it is OUR horse pasture (part of our leased property), we are resigned to burial now. Of course burial was always the only option if the horse was chemically euthanized, and that did happen in some cases, but I felt a bit "circle of life"-ish with the clean gun shot and Coyote Cafe route.

                                      I had a mare put down on 12/26 due to colic. I had her put down in a place where a tractor could access, but apart from hearing that and nodding, the vet made no other suggestions or demands. On the other hand, a different vet a few years ago was the one to tell me about the fines imposed if an eagle was killed by tainted carrion that could be traced. She seemed to think the onus would fall on her, instead of or at least as well as on the owner.
                                      Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                                      Starman

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                                      • #39
                                        I volunteer in a Raptor Center and we've seen eagles come in with lead poisoning from eating carcasses shot with lead-ridden bullets. There was a deer down by our pond (careless hunter) and the eagles were there for days. Our neighbor is a wildlife ranger and he advised us to let it be as he could not find a bullet anywhere near the carcass (he scanned it).

                                        Yes, eagles are opportunistic and yes, they are very prone to be sick from the toxicity of chemicals, especially the younger birds.
                                        www.canterusa.org

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by NMK View Post
                                          I volunteer in a Raptor Center and we've seen eagles come in with lead poisoning from eating carcasses shot with lead-ridden bullets. There was a deer down by our pond (careless hunter) and the eagles were there for days. Our neighbor is a wildlife ranger and he advised us to let it be as he could not find a bullet anywhere near the carcass (he scanned it).

                                          Yes, eagles are opportunistic and yes, they are very prone to be sick from the toxicity of chemicals, especially the younger birds.
                                          Now, could you explain that a bit better?
                                          "Lead ridden" is generally from a shotgun, used on birds, not deer?

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