Wolf Song of Alaska News

Those Who Bait Eagles Seek Profit, Not the Best Interest of the Birds

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / May 8, 2006

Baiting bald eagles is the intentional act of offering food as a reward.

Baiting eagles using food as a lure is for the purpose of getting the eagles closer for viewing, photography or entertainment.

Baiting creates a direct connection between eagle and human.

Supplemental feeding of wild bald eagles has never been necessary in Alaska.

Randi Iverson owns a wilderness lodge, so her connection to eagle baiting is a monetary one. ("Use of the word 'baiting' perverts what is really generosity to eagles," April 21)

Summer bald eagle baiting is especially disturbing. The state of Maine found that the summer eagles that bring fledges to these baiting sites do not learn the lesson that the eagle parents are teaching them: how to acquire food from many sources.

Is Ms. Iverson going to teach these fledges how to hunt when she is done baiting them?

Eagle baiters have one thing in common. They engage in this activity completely for the moment, not thinking of where eagles come from or where they go after being baited.

Proposal 44 passed in January by the state Board of Game has added "wild bird" food to the list of attractants left out that people can be cited for if they attract a bear. This includes intentionally leaving "eagle food" in a manner that will attract bears.

Lodge owners who bait bald eagles teach their guests that wildlife is here for our entertainment.

---- Lee Mayhan / Homer

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