Bald eagle

This American bald eagle was alive when it was photographed Saturday after it was hit by a car. The bird was later euthanized after the extent of its injuries were made known.

CHESTERFIELD — The American bald eagle hit by a car on Route 9 over the weekend has been euthanized, after rescuers found it too injured to be saved.

“It had a fractured pelvis so we euthanized it,” said Maria Colby with the Wings of the Dawn rescue and rehabilitation center in Henniker. “There was no saving this guy or girl.”

Chesterfield Police Chief Dan Chickering said the bird was found Saturday morning on the side of the road off Route 9 near the Route 63 intersection. The bird had reportedly been hit by a car, but was still alive at that time, according to Chickering. Police contacted Colby’s group with the hope it could be saved.

Chris Martin with the New Hampshire Audubon Society said car strikes are a danger for eagles, as they will feed on roadkill.

“They’re not nimble,” Martin said. “They end up low over the ground as they’re flying and cars pose a significant risk.”

Martin said there were 72 territorial pairs of eagles counted this year, and several more spotted without a mate. The pairs produced 81 baby eagles, he said.

American bald eagles are territorial birds, adopting a particular area, Martin said. The birds end up with mates that they stay with in their areas, mating mostly for life, he said. The birds do not migrate for winter and stay in their territory, he said.

The eagles nest mostly along the shorelines of rivers and large lakes, he said. They can usually be found in tall white pines, or in cottonwood trees when they nest in the southern end of the Connecticut River region in New Hampshire.

“Their lives vary,” he said.

“They can live for 20 years, or a perfectly capable bird makes a mistake.”

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