The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

Eagle found dead under power line


Annette Shacklett | The Seward Phoenix LOG

An eagle with a common murre in its talons was found dead under a power line on Sunday.

From all appearances, an eagle died from a collision with an electric line on Sunday morning.

It was about 8 a.m. when the lights browned out at her home at Sixth and Monroe, Carol Horner told The LOG. About 10:30 a.m. she took her dog out for a walk and when they approached the alley across from the old Alaska Department of Transportation shop on B Street the dog ran over and sniffed at something.

At first she thought it was a wad of plastic. But when she got close she saw that it was a dead eagle with a common murre clutched in its talons. It was under the electric lines.

The feathers on both the eagle and the murre were scorched and smelled of smoke. Blood stained the snow, she said.

She took it home and put it in the back of her truck where it froze solid.

Later Horner spoke with a neighbor who said that about 8 a.m. she saw a bright flash and heard something thud to the ground.

On Monday, Horner brought the eagle and murre bodies by The LOG and talked some about it.

She then took them to the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Fowl flying into power lines happens around Seward. In the last seven years the City of Seward Utility Department has filed five reports on bald eagles.

The department is required to file a report with U.S. Fish and Wildlife when an eagle is found to have died from flying into power lines, John Foutz, Seward Electric Department manager told The LOG. USFW manages the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

The Seward Electric Department also mitigates the area where an eagle has died as a result of a collision with a line with bird diverters, perches or reflectors, said Foutz.

When asked what a person should do if they encounter a dead or injured eagle, Foutz explained that first, do not touch the bird because a federal law prohibits undesignated people from picking up a bald eagle.

Second, contact the designated rehabilitation center. In Seward the rehabilitation center is the Alaska SeaLife Center. The hotline number is 907-224-6395. Report the location and, if applicable, a description of the events by witnesses. ASLC will take possession of the eagle's body.

If the eagle, or other bird, is wounded but still alive contact ASLC immediately.

When a power outage happens along with the incident, contact Seward Police Dispatch at 224-3338.

This year four swan cygnets have flown into power lies and died at the Lagoon. The City of Seward has installed deflectors to keep the swans from flying into the lines and money is being raised to install more.


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