Power pole proves deadly to Sitka eagles

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2000

SITKA (AP) -- A power pole in Sitka has been particularly lethal to eagles this week.

Three eagles were electrocuted over three days from Sunday through Tuesday, according to the Alaska Raptor Center. A fourth was injured.

An eagle on Tuesday short-circuited a transformer on top of the power pole adjacent to the Sitka Sound Seafoods plant and knocked out power to the city for a half hour.

The dead eagle, still clutching a herring in its talons, lay draped across high voltage lines until it was pulled free by an electric department crew.

The injured eagle was hurt when it touched the power line at the transformer. It was taken to the Alaska Raptor Center for treatment.

City Electric Superintendent Randy Cornelius told the Sitka Sentinel that the department was not aware of eagle contacts other than the one that caused the outage. The previous contacts did not affect the power supply.

Raptor Center Executive Director Elizabeth Whealy said 8 percent of the injured eagles brought in during the last five years sustained injuries from power lines.

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