The discovery in Boulder County last week of a dead bald eagle apparently harvested for its head, talons and feathers is part of disturbing trend in the western United States, a federal wildlife official said today. ... Whether the eagle found dead in Boulder County last week was the victim of black-market profiteers is unknown.
What is known is that the death of the bird was unusual. It was found wrapped in a red cloth next to a hiking trail on the north slope of Legion Hill in Boulder County.
The head, talons and feathers may have been spirited into the black market. But they also may have been used for American Indian rituals, a satanic sacrifice or a poacher's "trophy."
No one is sure.
"It is unusual," said Sgt. William Manes of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. "If somebody killed the bird illegally, why wrap it up in red cloth and place it next to a trail? Most criminals would have just tossed it in the weeds. That is why we are scratching our heads over this." ...