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Eagles sometimes can’t fly away like other birds when feeding on roadway carcasses

ST. PAUL -- Motorists are urged to watch for eagles on roadways this time of year as an increase in deer activity leads to more road-killed deer for the birds to feed on.

ST. PAUL -- Motorists are urged to watch for eagles on roadways this time of year as an increase in deer activity leads to more road-killed deer for the birds to feed on.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said while crows feasting on carcasses on roadways usually simply fly off, it’s a different situation for eagles.

The DNR said eagles can “over eat” and become too heavy to fly until they digest their meal. Eagles can also suffer from neurological issues if they are exposed to lead in the carcass of the animal they are eating. When this happens, eagles become disoriented and do not know to fly off when a car is approaching.

“When deer are particularly active, we tend to get calls about eagles that are injured or killed by vehicles or sick and dying from lead poisoning,” said Christine Herwig, DNR northwest region nongame specialist. “If you see a dead deer on the road and can safely move the deer off the roadway, this improves the safety of other motorists and wildlife.”

 

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