CROW trying to determine cause of death of an eaglet on Captiva

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Captiva eaglets

Two eaglets have died on Captiva Island in January. Now, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is trying to figure out why one of them died.

While the necropsy results have not yet come out or been verified, CROW has said vets found a broken, bloody feather and it’s likely that one eaglet died from blood loss.

Melissa McGarvey from Estero loves the bird’s eye view she gets from the Captiva Eagle Cam.

“I think it’s neat just to be able to have an eye on something in nature that you would never be able to see, and then seeing how they interact with their world and what their life looks like. It’s just very interesting,” McGarvey said.

As someone who watched Harriet the eagle’s eaglet, E14, pass away about a year ago in North Fort Myers, she’s worried.

“We didn’t understand what was happening, it was really hard to watch,” McGarvey said.

Learning about the deaths of two eaglets on Captiva was really shocking. “To think that on two cameras, three eaglets in one year have this issue, to me suggests that there’s a lot of things going out there that we don’t watch. How much more is this happening?” she said.

E14 died from rat poison. Now, vets at the CROW Clinic seem to think it may have played a role in the death of a Captiva eaglet. The necropsy results are not yet out, though.

“There was excessive blood, and so based on that observation and the broken blood feather, it was suspected that rodenticide poisoning, rat poisoning, may have caused or been a part in this death,” said Alison Hussey, executive director of the CROW Clinic.

McGarvey wants to help, if possible. “If there’s something simple that the average person can do to help this issue, I believe that people would do it.”

“Use of rodenticide doesn’t just affect the rats and the rodents that they’re trying to get, it also carries on up the food chain, and so the beautiful eagles and wonderful birds that you don’t want to harm, there’s the possibility that you are harming them,” Hussey said.

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