Eagles are returning to nest sites on Gulf Coast

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Eagles are returning to nest sites on Gulf Coast

This is an interesting note from Barb Walker, in light of Kelly's possible recent sighting. Note that eagles are very sensitive to disturbance in the pre-nesting stage.

She writes:

I have given BayNews9 correct information regarding the status of the cell tower nest in Largo.  The concern is  over nearby traffic improvements/construction and how it may affect nearby businesses and what the current laws and guidelines are.  They expect the story to air tomorrow.  I'll forward the link. The adult eagles which nested at that tower last year were seen and photographed on the tower this week.  I haven't seen the new numbers from FWC yet but there are approximately 30+ nests in cell towers in Florida. (28 as of last published report, 31 on my last count)  Pinellas County had 8 bald eagles nest in or attempt to nest in cell towers last season.  We have a lot of towers. The cell towers are also heavily occupied by Osprey.
Meanwhile we have had quite a few eagle sightings in Pinellas County from southern Pinellas to the Pinellas/Pasco line along the coast where it seems we have a local concentration of bald eagles with some nests being only a half a mile apart.  Several of those territories also have Great-horned Owls nearby.  Another nest is currently in process of being documented in  northwest Tarpon Springs.  That area is not listed as core nesting area for bald eagles in the state however it does appear to be part of a defined important usage area and is at the southern tip of a long leaf pine forest along the coast which is excellent habitat for bald eagles.   While the eagles are returning to their home bases now the nesting season officially runs from October 1st through May 15th.

Bald Eagle's sensitivity to disturbance varies throughout the year with increased sensitivity at the beginning of the nesting season and late in the season when the young are 8 weeks of age.


Barb Walker
Palm Harbor, FL