It Doesn’t Take Eagle Eyes to Spot this Nest

It was an encouraging sign, but with a hint of concern.

A pair of bald eagles has started constructing a nest on a lake in
Luzerne County. A local Wildlife Conservation Officer told me about
the new nest, and I drove out to see it for myself.

As of last summer, there was one confirmed bald eagle nest in the
county – in the Shickshinny area, and Pennsylvania Game Commission
officials were monitoring the possibility of a second nest in the
Pittston area.

Both of those locations were along the Susquehanna River and the
nest sites were far enough away from civilization that they can
easily go unnoticed.

But the latest location – on a lake in the northern part of the
county, is right in the middle of one of the busiest recreation
areas. In fact, it’s on a pole only feet from the main road.

I won’t name the lake to avoid risking increased disturbance to the
nest site, but chances are, as the nest gets bigger, it will be
hard not to notice.

And while the proximity of civilization to the nest does raise a
concern, perhaps it will turn out to be a good thing. After all,
the more eyes that are on the nest daily could very well lead to
vigilant supervision.

Add the fact that the PGC is aware of the site, and I think it will
be pretty tough for someone to try something funny and not be
seen.

Assuming the nest building goes well and the bald eagle pair
successfully hatches eggs this April or May, it will be yet more
proof that the species is on the increase in northeastern
Pennsylvania.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

The PGC is currently accepting public comments for its draft Bald
Eagle Management Plan. In a nutshell, the plan is designed to
increase and maintain bald eagle populations throughout the
state.

The plan is a proactive approach by the agency, considering the
federal government removed the bald eagle from threatened status
under the Endangered Species Act in 2007.

According to the plan, the criteria used to consider eagles
“recovered” in the state is to have a nesting population of at
least 150 pairs. The agency expects to reach that figure by
2012.

The pair of eagles building the nest on a northern Luzerne County
lake are doing their part. We need to do ours by staying vigilant
and staying away to let the recovery of an American symbol
continue.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Tom Venesky

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