The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife reports a bald eagle collapsed and died in her nest along the Charles River in Middlesex County after eating something that had itself eaten "second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide" (link has a photo of the dead bird).
While mortalities in bald eagles due to anticoagulant rodenticides have been documented in other states, this is the first confirmed case in Massachusetts. In mid-March, observers reported odd behavior of an adult female eagle at a nest located on the Charles River in Middlesex County. Unfortunately, within a day, the bird had died on its nest.
A necropsy at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic and a toxicology scan of the bird's liver confirmed the eagle died from the sort of internal bleeding that is the way the chemical kills mice and rats. In fact, the eagle showed levels of three different kinds of anticoagulant rodenticides.
While bald eagles primarily eat fish, they are opportunistic foragers that feed on a variety of animals and are known to scavenge or prey on small mammals.
The division adds the one saving grace is that the state's bald-eagle population is on the increase, with some 80 nesting pairs observed from the Berkshires to Cape Code. And:
According to observers, within a week of the female’s death, another adult female eagle was observed at the nest with the male adult.
The division urged homeowners to try other methods to get rid of rodents, such as sealing up any holes through which mice might enter a house, securing any trash they might rummage through, using snap traps and only hiring pest-control firms that use non-anticoagulant methods for ridding houses of rodents.