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Terrible Life Choices Lead Bald Eagle Family to Seagoville Power Line. Can They Be Saved?

A male bald eagle landing on a high-voltage Oncor line in Seagoville in 2013.
A male bald eagle landing on a high-voltage Oncor line in Seagoville in 2013.

Seagoville, Texas, the spot where 635 dead-ends into despair, has long been a destination for lives that have taken a seriously wrong turn. Typically, these folks wind up at FCI Seagoville, the town's federal prison and third-largest employer. More rarely, as in the case of a family of bald eagles, their trail of bad decisions leads them to the top a high-voltage power line.

God intended bald eagles to soar majestically over the Grand Canyon and whatever's left of our amber waves of grain, diving occasionally to sink a pair freedom-loving talons into a terrorist's swarthy flesh or to alight gently on Bill O'Reilly's shoulder. Their natural habitat may indeed extend into North Texas, where it might be appropriate for them to do flyovers at a Rangers game (current season excluded) or a Tea Party rally. But no just deity would intend such a resplendent creature to wind up in Seagoville.

One wonders what caused these particular birds to spiral to this nadir. Was it meth? That would explain a lot, including their apparent obliviousness to the danger posed by high-voltage power lines, but it's a bit too neat. These birds are returning to their aerie year after year, as DFW Urban Wildlife has chronicled, generation after generation. They are trapped in an inescapable cycle of misery and ignorance, the chicks never knowing that they were born to be symbols of freedom and opportunity.

Perhaps this weekend's attempt by Oncor and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move the nest will prompt the birds to turn over a new leaf and establish a new, more promising life. At the very least, hopefully it will mean that their terrible decisions will no longer endanger the power supply of tens of thousands of responsible human beings.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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