An uninjured bald eagle just being awesome.
As dedicated eagle fans already know, southern Illinois is a hotbed of activity for our national emblem. An estimated 5,000 eagles winter in the Northern Mississippi Valley, plucking fish from the rivers while fans watch from the bluffs and riverbanks. And why not? Those birds are majestic.
So why is someone shooting them?
On February 5, an injured eagle was reported in Louisville, Illinois. That bird had been shot, and is recuperating at a rehabilitation center. A dead eagle was then found about 30 miles away in Richmond County, Illinois, on February 24. X-rays revealed that it died from a gunshot wound.
Why would you want to shoot an eagle? In addition to being magnificent creatures, they're also federally protected. Anyone found guilty of shooting a bald eagle is subject to one year in prison and $100,000 fine. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party.