Bald eagle found dead in Wisconsin appears to be oldest in MidwestA Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources crew recently discovered the carcass of what appears to be the oldest bald eagle documented in the upper Midwest.
A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources crew recently discovered the carcass of what appears to be the oldest bald eagle documented in the upper Midwest.
The dead female eagle found near Razorback Lake in Vilas County was 31 years old, first banded on June 25, 1977, as an eaglet.
While eagles are known to live to 20 years and beyond in the wild, none has been documented as this old. The condition of the carcass indicated it had died recently, but there was no obvious sign of injury or trauma, said Ron Eckstein, a wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Eckstein traced the eagle’s leg band through the federal Bird Banding Laboratory. It was one of three eaglets in a nest a quarter-mile north of the
Wisconsin-Michigan border in the Ottawa National Forest’s Sylvania Wilderness Area. That same nest remains active in a large white pine in the wilderness area.
Wisconsin has about 1,200 breeding pairs of eagles, up from 82 pairs first counted in a 1970 survey. Bald eagles have been taken off the federal endangered species list, although they remain protected by other laws.