News Releases

Eggs saved, bald eagle pair encouraged to relocate

News Release

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3200

A pair of bald eagles that nested in a light stand at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota are being encouraged to look for a safer place to re-nest.

Eagle experts with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that conditions at the site - dangerous to eagles and the survival of the young - warranted issuing permits for the removal and rescue of eggs. The exclusion of eagles from the light-pole nesting site also is a requirement of the permit.

The variety of hazards to eagles nesting in busy urban environments runs the gamut of the increased likelihood of collisions with vehicles and aircraft to electrocution.

"Not only do nesting eagles that learn to tolerate dangerous urban settings put themselves at great risk, the hazards in these environments present a high level of danger to young, fledging eagles," said Michelle van Deventer, the FWC's bald eagle management plan coordinator.

A private consultant removed two eggs from the nest Tuesday morning and sent the eggs, which are thought to be viable, to the American Eagle Foundation, at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The American Eagle Foundation is the only facility with the extensive resources and staff expertise required to successfully hatch eagle eggs and rear young. The foundation has successfully released more than 100 bald eagle chicks into the wild.

The concerns of wildlife officials that these urban-nesting eagles were at high risk were highlighted yesterday when an eagle was badly injured in a collision with an automobile on Fruitville Road in Sarasota. The injured eagle was captured and taken to a rehabilitation facility. The accident happened only a short distance from Ed Smith Stadium. Soon after the occurrence, officials found the pair safe on the nest at the stadium.

While some eagles in Florida have shown tolerance for nesting in suburban or urban areas, establishing a new nest in this type of artificial habitat is uncommon. Eagles normally select live pine trees in which to build nests.

The pair of eagles started building a nest in the light tower of the stadium in November, well after the renovation at Ed Smith Stadium was under way. There are no violations of federal or state regulations, and no fines have been assessed.

For more information on Florida bald eagles, go to

FWC Facts:
Within 24 hours of hatching, young whooping cranes can follow their parents away from the nest. Together, they forage for plants, insects, snakes, frogs and small animals.

Learn More at AskFWC