There are an estimated 1,500 breeding bald eagle pairs in Florida, which is second in the U.S. to Alaska. Chad Gillis/The News-Press


A bald eagle was found dead near the Island Country Club on Marco Island on Tuesday evening. 

"It's hard to tell what happened, but the bird was an adult and looked to be a male, based on its size," said Carl Way, founder and chairman of the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation.

"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took possession of the eagle and will send it to a repository, where they will determine the cause of death," Way said, "so we won't know anything until then."

There were no gunshot wounds, according to the Marco Island Police Department, and initial X-rays suggest the bird died from impact trauma and internal bleeding. 

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Way said the eagle is not from the Marco Island Nature Reserve, and confirmed that the reserve's four eagles — two adults, two babies — are alive and well. 

"Paleo and Calusa are both OK, and their babies are about four weeks old now," he said.

A representative of the country club said he did not have any information on the eagle's death, and the FWC could not be reached to comment.

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