Bald Eagle Shot December 15th, 2010 Makes National Headlines.

SEQUIM — A juvenile bald eagle shot near Beaver is under round-the-clock care, said a spokesman for the Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center.  The young male eagle was shot in the left wing, said Matthew Randazzo on Saturday.

Shooting a bald eagle is illegal. Both the wildlife center in Sequim and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife are seeking information about the person who shot the bird.

The eagle — a very young bird born this summer — was found in a field near Beaver on Wednesday, Randazzo said.  “It was raining. He was soaking-wet and floundering on the ground,” Randazzo said.  Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center Director Jaye Moore received the report of the bird and phoned Brian Fairbanks, a Fish and Wildlife officer based in Forks, who found the eagle and brought it to the Sequim center that afternoon.

“He was cold, shivering, and very weak,” Moore said in a statement.  “I cared for him and kept him warm through the night and took him the next morning to Dr. Maya Bewig at Greywolf Veterinary Hospital in Sequim.”  The eagle’s wing is broken and still contains bullet fragments, Randazzo said, adding that the bird appears to have other injuries as well.

As of Saturday, the bird was still alive, Randazzo said. It is unlikely that it will be able to fly.  Being a young eagle, the bird is completely brown and hasn’t reached full size.  Bald eagles do not fully develop the distinctive white plumage on their heads and tails until the fourth year, Randazzo said.

Bald eagles were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in 2007 but remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  A first-offense violation of the act can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year or both. Penalties increase for additional offenses, and a second violation of the act is a felony.