The Department of Natural Resources continues to track a mystery illness that afflicts some of the state's bald eagle population. A census conducted earlier this year around the Lower Wisconsin River found just under 500 bald eagles in the area for the winter months. However, those numbers are renewing concerns about a mystery illness that leads to apparent neurological impairment in eagles.
DNR toxicologist Sean Strom says the illness was first observed in the mid-1990s, when several bald eagles collected by the DNR were found to have lesions on their liver. The illness also appears to be unique to Wisconsin. Despite nearly a decade of trying to track it, Strom says officials have been unable to determine what's causing it.
Bald eagle watchers are already out in force along the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, where the bald eagles often gather during the winter months to feed. Strom says people should be on the look out for any that are acting ill or injured. He says you can report any sightings to the DNR or local officials.