Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

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Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

NewMexiKen
Administrator
Please read the first post on the main page of this FORUM "Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring Etiquette"

A number of people have been seen encroaching the bald eagle nest just outside of Quiet Waters Park.

The Park Manager Associate has stated that "they are entering from the park side and standing under the nest scaring the parents away from the nest, leaving the eaglets vulnerable...

"...They disregarded the two signs at the trail entrance that state the rules/laws protecting the eagles. Broward County Parks does not allow any person into the trail system for the purpose of viewing, photographing and or disturbing the bald eagle nest. All violators will be trespassed.

"And of course I am sure you are aware that there are both state and federal laws that protect the species, in the florida state eagle rule (F.A.C. 68-A-16.002 attached) it outlines that it is illegal to disturb an eagle in florida. There are also two federal laws protecting the eagles, the first is the migratory bird treaty act and the second is the Golden Eagle Protection Act.

"I hope you’ll join us in our efforts to protect this incredible species and ensure their success for future generations by sharing this information with others and information people that all species appreciate being admired from afar, not up close."


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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

Rockitglider
Hello Ken,

I am taking pictures from the other side of the water to the north of the nest, approximately 100' or more from the nest, are you saying that I can't do this anymore? I also signed up for the Mountain Bike trail and I ride the bike into the trail where the nest is to take the pictures. I did not see any signs that said I could not take pictures. I don't understand why I can't take pictures of the nest 1 day a week keeping away from the nest. When you go to Quiet Waters where do you take pictures from? Thanks for your input.

Kit
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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

NewMexiKen
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This post was updated on .
Hi, Kit--

I have not been out to the Quiet Waters nest in over two years. At that time it was possible to view it from the west, outside the Park boundary. There was a temporary warning barrier which allowed viewing from a safe distance. That entire area may now be restricted and there are plans to construct new approach lanes there, along with widening of SW 10th Street to connect Sawgrass Expy with I-95.

We have a similar issue with the Pembroke Pines nest, as a public sidewalk passes about 100 feet in front of the nest. This is necessary for public safety and is considered to be an "existing disturbance" which, in effect, waives the 330 foot rule. However, we still discourage viewers from congregating or setting up for photos from that point because the eagles do show signs such as staring down which may indicate they are anxious. Pedestrians and cyclists who pass by are apparently tolerated as evidenced by the eagles' continued use of the same nest tree. Their customary roosting trees should also be treated with respect, even though there are no formal restrictions.

The near edge of busy Pines Boulevard roadway is about 160 feet from the nest and the viewing area across the eastbound lanes is about 200 feet away. The nest may also be viewed from the north side of Pines at a range of 260 feet. The eagles seem to have adjusted to the traffic noise and sirens from emergency vehicles, although I once saw one bolt from the nest when a truck (illegally) suddenly engaged its "jake brake" to keep from running a red light.

I am not certain about present conditions at Quiet Waters, but I believe that the mountain bike path is an "existing disturbance," meaning that bikers have been passing by without any adverse effect upon the eagles. Perhaps if viewers linger or gather at some point along or near the bike trail, they may disturb the eagles, as has sometimes happened with the Pembroke Pines sidewalk.

I suggest you talk to Park personnel about the problem with the signs and also obtain advice about acceptable viewing sites.
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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

Rockitglider
This post was updated on .
Hello Ken,

Thank you for responding and educating me and everyone else on these rules and conditions. I definitely want to make sure I don't disturb the eagles. I have been through the trail while riding my bike, and I decided that viewing from near the nest was indeed too close, and that is why I decided to only take pictures from the norrh side of the pond. The last thing I want to do is disturb the birds. This distance on the north side of the pond may be up to 300 feet from the nest, I don't know really how to estimate distances over terrain like that, but I am pretty sure that it is a safe distance from the nest becuse they don't seem to "watch me". I will go to the park office and talk to them because I don't want to cause any problems, but I really would like to document the nesting cycle of this nest if possible. If you can help me in any way with talking to the park office, I would really appreciate it, and I will follow any rules that they want to set. Thanks again Ken

Ken, I measured the distance in google earth and itbis very close to 500 feet where I set my tripod across the pond.

Sincerely,  Kit
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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

NewMexiKen
Administrator
  Hi, Kit--

I appreciate your efforts to document events at the nest. You might also file reports every 2 weeks or so with Florida Audubon EagleWatch. They have a web site with observation forms and instructions. Here is a permalink to the post from Shawnlei Breeding who is the new EagleWatch Program Coordinator:
http://bald-eagles-of-broward-county-florida.1638815.n2.nabble.com/Message-from-Shawnlei-Breeding-the-new-Florida-Audubon-EagleWatch-Program-Coordinator-tp7574587.html

With a long lens and a tripod you still should be able to get decent shots at 500 feet. Do talk to the Park managers to clarify that you did not have bad intentions and certainly will abide by their rules in the future. Avoid getting banned, as can happen to trespassers.
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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

Rockitglider
Thank you Ken,

Kit
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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

Speechykeane
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
As I drove by coming off the turnpike last weekend, I saw a truck parked as close as he could get to the Quiet Waters fence, practically right under the nest.  There was at least one adult and a child...  I believe there are signs posted, but not sure, since I never stop...  It is concerning for sure...
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Re: Eagle Watchers are approaching too close to the Quiet Waters nest

MikeB3D
I have been watching the nest on and off for about 4 years. I have never witnessed any issues of eagle harassment, but I have heard stories that really make my skin crawl. I usually stay around 1000 feet from the fenced off area with high power binoculars. The areas on the roadside I believe just hug the 330 foot guideline, so I don't go there.

I believe the park has clearly said they don't want photographers, etc. because they do not want to draw attention or crowds. Maybe they should give us contact information if we see something? (It might be there & I just missed it?)

Mike
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