Eggs saved, bald eagle pair encouraged to relocate
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
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