- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Martha, the unlucky bald eagle who received the nation’s sympathy in the spring after being injured and then losing her family, has been euthanized after getting injured again.

“All the vets and surgeons that consulted on the case agreed that she would not be comfortable, and life in captivity was not an option,” said Chris Motoyoshi, a director at the Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Inc. in Newark, Del.

Mr. Motoyoshi said Martha, who lived near the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge in Maryland, seriously hurt her wing — possibly after crashing into a tree or power line.

The bald eagle was brought to the center Friday and put down Monday. She may have been injured for three or four days before she was found, Mr. Motoyoshi said.

Martha received national attention in April when workers found her injured in the aftermath of a midair battle with a rival bald eagle.

Her mate, George, was left to care alone for the pair’s eggs while Martha was treated for puncture wounds and a damaged beak. The chicks died shortly after they hatched while Martha was still recovering.

Glenn Therres, a bald eagle biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said that although Martha’s death was unfortunate, he is not distressed by the loss of one eagle.

“Fortunately, the eagle population is healthy enough and large enough now that the loss of a breeding individual is not going to be detrimental,” he said.

Martha’s mate already might be busy courting her replacement, Mr. Therres said. Eagles return to their nests between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Bald eagles, the symbol of the United States, were considered endangered in 43 of the 48 lower states until 1995, when their status was upgraded to threatened. More than 400 pairs of nesting bald eagles live in Maryland, Mr. Therres said.

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