CADILLAC — There's nothing like a little seafood to satisfy a noon-time craving.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a juvenile bald eagle was captured in pictures carrying a large fish near the shoreline off East Lake Mitchell Drive.
The Cadillac News emailed the pictures of the bird to Katie Keen, wildlife expert at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Cadillac office.
After consulting with a few of her colleagues, Keen emailed back, “There are some key field marks on the neck and belly that I can’t see in these photos to tell the difference between first- and second-year juvenile. I’m leaning toward first year.”
Keen added that there could be other young eagles in the area.
"Because of natural resources laws banning use of some pesticides and chemicals, the once threatened and endangered species is now considered recovered," Keen said.
"The population crash was due to several factors that had reduced reproductive success of nesting pairs but was mostly the result of increased use of pesticides with chemicals such as PCB and DDT.
These chemicals affected the eagles in many ways, like causing delayed breeding until it was too late in the season or even to not breed at all. Eggs that were laid often had thin shells, causing them to break in the nest.
At its worst in 1967, only 38 percent of the Michigan population of bald eagles were able to raise at least a single chick. Productivity must be at least 70 percent for a bald eagle population to remain stable."