An essential ingredient of Bald Eagles breeding habitat is the presence of suitable roost trees within sight of the nest. Our local pair of eagles is no exception, and they favor three or four tall Australian Pines along Pines Boulevard, as well as the trunks of melaleuca trees in the SW Florida Water Management District land just to the west of the proposed City of Pembroke Pines Bald Eagle sanctuary. These exotic trees were all killed by herbicides a few years ago. The are badly decayed and many fall down with each windstorm. As these roosting sites disappear, we can expect the eagles to seek out other prominent perches, such as power poles. Electrocution and collision with power lines are major causes of urban Bald Eagle mortality.
On June 11, Bald Eagle Sanctuary Steering Committee members Barry Heimlich of South Florida Audubon, and veteran eagle watcher Trisha Norton met at the site of the Pembroke Pines nest with Doug Macke, Florida Power & Light Company Broward Area Power Systems Environmental Coordinator, to discuss this hazard. They were pleased to learn that Doug had been observing the eagles since last year, when the nest was first "discovered," and the company had already taken some action.