Six eagles were found shot in 2018


FARMINGTON — A golden eagle and a large hawk found with injuries on the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry property south of Farmington have died.

An adult, large female ferruginous hawk and a golden eagle were found on May 14 by employees of NAPI, according to Hawks Aloft Executive Director Gail Garber.

The Albuquerque-based nonprofit organization helps rescue distressed birds, including eagles.

NAPI officials declined comment on the incident, referring questions to the Navajo Nation Fish and Wildlife Department.

The hawk was shot in one of its wings and the golden eagle had injuries including head trauma and damage to one of its wings. The eagle's tail feathers were removed.

Garber believes the ferruginous hawk was shot because it looks similar to a golden eagle.

The hawk was euthanized after the doctors at Petroglyph Animal Hospital in Albuquerque determined her injuries were too severe.

The eagle was euthanized on May 18 after it developing breathing issues, according to Garber.

The birds were transported from the NAPI property to the Navajo Nation Zoo and Botanical Park in Window Rock, Arizona, then transported to Grants, where Hawks Aloft picked up the birds and drove them to Albuquerque.

Officials for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have taken possession of the two eagles and will perform a necropsy to determine the official cause of death.

Spate of eagle deaths

There have been three eagles this year found on the NAPI property that have died. Six eagles were found shot in the same area in 2018, Garber said.

Multiple golden eagles and at least one bald eagle have been found with their tail feathers removed.

"This is so heartbreaking, that it keeps happening," Garber said.

An eagle earlier this year wearing a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service satellite transmitter sent a mortality signal.

When officers went to locate the transmitter, they found the transmitter, but no eagle was found, according to Garber.

A golden eagle was found shot with its tail feathers removed on Jan. 8. It later died due to its injuries.

Garber wants to remind people that the Navajo Nation Eagle Sanctuary and Education Center staff collect the feathers which are molted, shed or dropped from golden eagles and distribute them for free.

There is a form for the golden eagle feather distribution on the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife's website at

Some of the injured eagles Hawks Aloft has received have been introduced into the eagle sanctuary.

Reward offered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $3,000 reward for anyone with information into the incidents. They can contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement at 505-346-7828 or the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife at 928-221-9114.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act protects gold and bald eagles.

A person could be fined a maximum of $250,000 and serve a year in prison for violating the federal laws.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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Golden eagle dies after being shot at NAPI headquarters

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