PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A big scare came for the Hays bald eagles Saturday.
Officials at the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania say that one of the adult bald eagles brought a fish that had a fishing hook with “monofilament line attached to it.”
The baby eaglets began to eat the fish and officials were initially concerned that one of the eaglets consumed the hook and part of the line.
After watching the footage, officials say they can not come to a conclusion if the hook was ever consumed.
“We’ve watched the footage repeatedly and cannot definitively say that the hook was ever consumed,” said Rachel Handel, the director of communications for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. “In some shots, it looks like the hook may have fallen out and into the nest. While this isn’t a great scenario, it’s much better than having the hook eaten.”
The best case scenario: the hook will become part of the nest.
Audubon Society executive director Jim Bonner says there’s no way to get to the nest, and it would be more dangerous for man and eagle to even try.
The Audubon Society wants this to be a learning experience for local fishing enthusiasts.
“Fishing line (which is very strong) and hooks cause many bird fatalities and Audubon sees this situation as an opportunity to remind people that human actions do have a direct impact on the natural world,” said Handel. “Fishing line and hooks can end up in places that we might not expect. Lead weights used in fishing are also especially problematic to Bald Eagles, and can lead to lead poisoning.”
The Audubon Society plans to continue to monitor the situation in hopes that the hook and the fishing line will not cause future problems to the birds.