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Chick in Vermont's only bald eagle nest dies

WATERBURY, Vt. — The first pair of bald eagles known to have hatched young in Vermont in 60 years has lost its only chick, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.

A raccoon or the inexperience of the parents were blamed for the death.

"Whether or not the raccoon killed the chick or if it was just scavenging on the carcass is unknown," said Wildlife Biologist Forrest Hammond, who discovered the eaten eaglet at the base of the tree along the Connecticut River in southern Vermont.

Bald eagles disappeared in the state in the decades after World War II because of the use of the pesticide DDT.

Efforts began in the early 1970s to restore bald eagles across the country, but those efforts didn't begin in Vermont until recently.

The eagles started building the nest along the river last year and then returned this spring to lay eggs.

The loss of the young was unfortunate, but it was only a setback, said Fish and Wildlife Department spokesman John Hall.

"Vermont will have nesting eagles," he said.