As an American symbol, it is illegal to intentionally kill a bald eagle. But some still die from an unnatural cause – lead poisoning.
Angela Myers, Program Director for the Sutton Avian Research Center‘s Lead Abatement Program, says it only takes ingesting two lead shots to kill, or cause irreversible damage to an eagle. She and her team are working on an education program that encourages the use of non-lead ammunition and fishing sinkers.
Myers says despite concern, copper rounds are accurate. She says making the switch isn’t feasible for everyone. Myers asks hunters to bury or take their kills with them.
Officials with Sutton Avian Research says the U.S. military has recently switched to copper ammunition and both soldiers and hunters say it’s more accurate than traditional lead ammo.