Bald eagle

A starling (upper right) keeps a close eye on a bald eagle that visited Walker Avenue in Baltimore City. (Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun / October 6, 2009)

Maryland Natural Resources Police are investigating the killing of two bald eagles in Montgomery County over the past week.

The first was shot with a rifle at about 3 p.m. on Christmas Day while feeding on a deer carcass in a field that adjoins Georgia Avenue and Bordley Road in Brookville, according to a police news release.

Then, on Saturday morning, another eagle was found wounded by a bird shot near a residence on Deakins Lane in Darnestown, the release said. The bird later died of its injuries.

Investigators believe the shootings are unrelated.

Anyone with information on the shootings may call the Department of Natural Resources Communications Center, 410-260-8888. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call the Catch-A-Poacher hotline at 1-800-635-6124, where a reward is possible.

The bald eagle was removed from the nationally protected endangered species list in 2007, and then in Maryland three years later, the release said.

Still, shooting eagles requires a permit from the U.S. Department of the Interior, and a conviction for doing so without one can carry a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a year in prison, the release said.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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